Food & Well being Local Foodies' Corner Uncategorized

Shoalhaven’s First Waste-Free ‘Milk On Tap’

Hear the gush of your fresh milk flowing effortlessly from a clean tap. You don’t have to imagine it; milk on tap is already here in the Shoalhaven region!

We’ve got some fantastic news that will change how you think about buying your family’s milk. Nowra has stepped up to the plate and become an early pioneer in New South Wales to offer Milk On Tap. 

Imagine strolling into your favourite local organic food store in Nowra and discovering a whole new way to enjoy your daily milk. Thanks to a remarkable innovation by The Udder Way, a Tasmanian company, you can now experience Tilba Dairy Jersey Milk on tap right here in Nowra! But what makes this even more important is that It’s clean and green.

This means that every drop of that creamy, delicious Jersey milk goodness is delivered to you without a hint of waste. Not a single bit of waste! It is a win-win for both consumers of milk and the environment.

Have you ever thought about the plastic waste that comes from milk? It’s been a tricky issue because fresh milk has strict regulations, and finding alternatives was no easy feat. But guess what? The Udder Way and Bomo Bulk have tackled this head-on. Charlie Tindall, the sales representative from The Udder Way in Tasmania, shared, “With the option of bottle reuse, you’re now only having to pay for the milk.” That’s right – the extra costs tied to glass bottling have been eliminated, making it a more affordable and eco-friendly choice.

When they did the maths, they found that by making this switch, more than 72 individual plastic bottles were not wasted in the first few weeks of implementation, and more plastic will be reduced as more people switch over. With the potential of 432 bottles saved per week, it is estimated that would save approximately 22,464 plastic bottles from landfill each year. Isn’t that incredible?

The amazing person behind this latest innovation is none other than a local businesswoman, Jessica from Bomo Bulk, who we are so fortunate to have as one of the vendors on Food Markies’ local online market. Bomo Bulk has been your go-to destination in Nowra for all things organic food for the past two years. So, it was only natural for them to take the lead in offering a waste-free milk refilling station. Now, you can grab a glass milk bottle and fill it up over and over again with Tilba Dairy’s delicious creamy Jersey milk. No more dealing with plastic milk bottles that pile up in our rubbish bins.

Jessica shared that having fresh milk on tap had been part of her vision since opening her store. However, she had been unable to implement it until she found a business that could collaborate with her to make her vision a reality. Once she learned of the Udder Way’s innovative patent system,  talks began, and with the Tilba Dairy on board, fresh milk on tap became a reality.

We congratulate Jessica and Bomo Bulk for their incredible impact by being the first milk on tap in Shoalhaven and reducing our waste. 

Let us know what you think about the fresh milk on the milk tap concept. Leave a comment below.

Food & Well being Local Foodies' Corner Uncategorized

The Story Behind Vasa’s Epicurean Food Legacy

Vasa grew up as a farmer in a small village in Northern Macedonia, where she grew tobacco and many fruits and vegetables, including chillies, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, sunflowers, and cucumbers, which she would take to the market each week with her family. It also supplied their family with fresh and nutritious food.

When Vasa moved to Australia with her husband Vojo in 1969, she continued the food-growing traditions they had learnt while growing up by planting a large range of vegetables in their Sydney backyard. 

She loved great-tasting food and would source many heirlooms and heritage varieties of each type to ensure she could match the flavours she had as a kid. She would share that love with others and give bags of homegrown food to family and friends when they visited. 

Her love for eating fresh, homegrown food didn’t stop there! In 2001, Vasa and Vojo bought a small farm in Wandandian, where they expanded their food growing by planting over a quarter acre of vegetables in their garden, including over 150 fruit and nut trees….as a hobby, all dug and picked by hand.

Vasa’s influence rubbed off onto her son Vele, who was always helping with their garden and property infrastructure needs, and he too found that eating homegrown was far better for physical and mental health, especially when all things were done using manual methods, digging and planting by hand.

As garlic was a family dinner table favourite, in 2018, her son Vele began his first test crop of garlic on the Wandandian property. What he discovered was that Vasa and Vojo had had no success growing garlic due to the wrong seed having been sourced. Vele’s trial was a success, leading him to expand his garlic farm over the last few seasons and sell it through online food markets like Food Markies. Ensuring that Vasa’s legacy would continue throughout the community.

In 2022, Vasa sold her Wandandian property and moved closer to her son’s farm near Cooma, where together, they continued growing garlic. Vele launched the new business “Garlic Kingdom Australia“, which grows and distributes for several local growers and anticipates that 1.5 tonnes will be grown in the 2023 season.

Vasa’s passion and love for great food have influenced Vele and her family, friends and the local community. Vele would like to thank those who are in the Garlic Kingdom‘s grower network and all the customers who have bought their products throughout the years. He is so grateful for your support of his family and the garlic he grows.

Would you like to read inspiring stories about individuals in the Shoalhaven region who are making a difference in our local food scene? Or Is there someone you know whose story deserves to be told? Please leave a comment below.

Food & Well being

From Seeds to Friendships: The Power of Community Gardens In Nowra

It’s so great to share the amazing concept of community gardens with you. Have you ever heard of them or been part of one? They are an awesome way to connect with nature and your community. Imagine cultivating the earth, exchanging gardening tips, growing plants, and connecting with your neighbours. I think it’s such a wonderful way to connect with nature and the people in your area.

So, why are community gardens so amazing? Well, for starters, they’re like green havens in the midst of urban areas. They’re perfect for people who don’t have their own yards to get their hands dirty, learn about gardening, and experience the joy of growing their food. They’re also a great way to meet new people and share stories while strengthening the bonds that make a community special. For example, I was at the North Nowra community garden sometime last year to help get rid of stinky bugs from the citrus trees. To be honest,  I didn’t know what they were or how to get rid of the Stinky bugs when I volunteered on the group chat. Thanks to some of the amazing group members who gave me some clues but guess what? Information and experience are two different ball games entirely. 

Some Stinky bugs we got rid of.

When I got to the garden, I put on my gloves and protective eyeglasses and got to work. It took forever as I was being careful not to get sprayed by the bugs. Luckily, a lovely lady- Christine, joined me. Oh my gosh! Christine was super experienced with Stinky bugs and got them off the trees like a pro. And me? I learnt from the pro! We talked, worked and laughed together. In no time, we were done! Luckily, I didn’t get sprayed. We connected so well and became friends. Later, we discovered we had much in common, including the local church we both attended and our love for supporting Multicultural communities in the Shoalhaven region. Small world. Isn’t it?  

There is so much you can learn to do through community gardens. If you are new and wondering how to make friends or meet people in your new area, Community gardens are great for connecting with everyday people to learn and understand your new community’s norms, values and culture. They promote sustainable food practices, like composting and reducing waste, which makes them great for the environment. And let’s not forget about the beauty they add to the neighbourhood!

If you’re in Nowra, NSW and interested in joining a community garden, there are a few options you might want to explore. 

These are great places to learn, grow and connect with fellow gardeners. You can also call 1300 293 111 to check with the Shoalhaven City Council for information on community gardens.  

Do you happen to know of any other community gardens around Nowra area that I haven’t mentioned? Or, are there other benefits of community gardens you think I omitted? Please add the missing pieces or share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below. Sharing is caring!

If you found this article helpful, please share it with a friend who could benefit. And, if you have any topics you’d like me to cover on my food blog, please leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

Food & Well being Local Foodies' Corner Uncategorized

Winter Warmers: How to Stay Healthy While Enjoying Your Favourite Comfort Foods

As the chilly weather sets in, there’s nothing like indulging in comforting foods that warm the body and soul. Grab a coffee or tea, and let’s explore the science behind comfort foods and easy tips for staying healthy in winter.

The Science Behind Comfort Food

Have you ever wondered why certain foods can uplift our spirits and make us feel better? It turns out there’s a scientific explanation behind it.

Comfort foods, often associated with nostalgic and sentimental value, can trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in our brains. They provide a sense of familiarity, security and emotional satisfaction. It may be a special soup or casserole your mum made whenever you were feeling under the weather as a child or a grandparent’s home cooking.

comfort food

Indulging in comfort foods doesn’t have to mean compromising your health. With a few mindful choices and creative tweaks, you can enjoy your favourite comfort foods while nourishing your body through the cooler months.

Why Do I Eat More in Winter?

You’re not alone if you find yourself eating more during colder months. During winter, many of us experience an increased appetite and find ourselves craving heartier, calorie-rich foods. There are several reasons why this occurs:

  1. Reduced sunlight exposure during winter affects our circadian rhythms and can lead to hormonal changes. The decrease in daylight hours can disrupt the balance of hormones that regulate appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin. As a result, we may feel hungrier and have a stronger urge to consume more food.
  2. Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during winter. SAD can lead to increased cravings for carbohydrates and sugary foods, as these can temporarily boost serotonin levels and improve mood.
  3. Cold weather and shorter days can limit outdoor activities and reduce our overall physical activity levels. With less movement and exercise, our calorie expenditure decreases, leading to a potential imbalance between calorie intake and energy expenditure.

Understanding the reasons behind your increased winter appetite can help you make informed choices and maintain a healthy balance.

While it’s natural to crave more food during this time, it’s important to prioritise nutrient-dense meals and incorporate a variety of local fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins into your diet. By listening to your body, being mindful of portion sizes and engaging in regular physical activity, you can enjoy the comforts of winter while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Tips for Staying Healthy in Winter

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during winter is essential for overall well-being. Here are some practical tips to help you stay on track:

  1. Prioritise nutrient-rich foods: Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins into your meals. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support your immune system and energise you.
  1. Stay hydrated: It’s easy to forget about drinking enough water during colder months. However, staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal bodily functions. Warm herbal teas, soups and broths are excellent alternatives to ensure you stay hydrated while enjoying comforting beverages.
  1. Stay active: Don’t let the winter chill discourage you from staying active. Keep moving with indoor exercises, try a new workout routine or embrace the cold with a brisk walk in the fresh air. Regular physical activity helps boost your mood and keeps your body strong.
  1. Get adequate rest: Winter is the perfect time to prioritise rest and rejuvenation. Ensure you sleep well each night; quality rest is vital for your immune system and overall well-being.

Winter Wellness: Embrace the Power of Superfoods for a Healthy Season

Incorporating nutrient-dense superfoods into your diet during winter is a great way to support your overall health and well-being. These powerhouse foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system, fight off winter illnesses and boost energy levels.

Some of the best superfoods to consider during this time include dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, which are rich in vitamins A, C and K. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits provide a hefty dose of vitamin C, known for its immune-boosting properties. By incorporating these winter superfoods into your diet, you can support your body’s natural defence system and maintain optimal health throughout the season. Read more about what superfoods are and why you need them.

Best Australian Winter Comfort Foods

If you’re ready for some inspiration for the kitchen, these are the best comfort foods guaranteed to warm you up this winter:

Soup: Not only is soup a cost-effective meal that will feed the whole family, but it’s also a healthy choice, with many soups packed with vegetables and a hearty broth. While chicken and vegetable soup is a classic, why not try Thai spiced pumpkin soup for a chilli kick or a creamy cauliflower soup for something different?

2. Casseroles and bakes: Try a comfort food staple that offers a delightful combination of tender meat and hearty vegetables, like a smokey tomato chicken bake or a beef stroganoff, that will warm you from the inside out.

3. Curries: Nothing warms you up faster than a spicy Thai red chicken curry or an Indian vegetable curry with chickpeas. Curry is a perfect choice for winter as its generous use of warming spices like ginger, turmeric and chilli not only adds depth of flavour but also helps to keep you warm.

4. Something sweet: Don’t forget to enjoy a special dessert now and then to warm up, like a delicious sticky date pudding or chocolate fondant.

If you’re looking for a convenient way to enjoy these winter comfort foods without compromising taste and nutrition, ready-made meal services like Gourmet Dinner Service have you covered. With their expertise in slow-cooked stews and casseroles, spicy curries and nourishing soups, you can experience the best comfort food without the hassle of cooking from scratch.

Author Bio

Johanna O’Sullivan is a Marketing and Communications Manager at Gourmet Dinner Service. With a background in economics, a passion for food, and expertise in nutrition, she helps customers achieve their wellness goals. Johanna is an experienced writer and contributor to online publications specialising in health. She loves cooking from scratch with healthy ingredients & values fresh, ready-to-eat meals for their convenience.