There’s nothing so annoying as seeing what looks like a great recipe using an ingredient you have no idea where to get. This page lets you know how to find the healthier-than-usual (or simply unusual) items used in my recipes or meal ideas. I will be editing this section continuously as I add new recipe with new ingredients. If my suppliers aren’t convenient for you, just google it and buy online – it really is amazing what you can source…
My 6 top ports of call for unusual products (in Dublin and online) are:
1. Good health Stores such as Nourish, Health Matters, The Health Store and the many fantastic independent health shops around the country. Make friends with your local health store owner, they will usually do special orders for you too.
2. Dublin Food Co-Op in Kilmainham, Dublin (see website for opening times) sells lots of storecupboard and packaging-free ingredients. Almost everything is organic. Breads, beans, pestos, sauces, wholegrains, honey, spreads, no-added sugar jams, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and personal care products are here.
3. The Green Door Market in Dublin 12 (bluebell) (see website for opening times) is the best food market in Dublin!. Saturday is when all the producers/sellers are there selling organic fruit, vegetables, bakery goods, meat, fish and eggs, as well as other goodies. Jacks pantry and some other stalls there sell dry goods, things in jars, breads, yoghurts and more. Nice vibe, children welcome, music on Saturdays. Fantastic paleo, gluten-free, SC Diet-friendly break and treats on sale (Korina Foods Saturdays – for grain-free bread, pre-ordering is important firstname.lastname@example.org or 085 100 1754).
4. Fallon & Byrne in Dublin 2 often stock items its hard to find elsewhere. Delicatessen/supermarket. For hard-to-get ingredients its not any more expensive than anywhere else. Small range of organic produce.
5. The Asia Market in Dublin 2 sells a wide array of spices, fresh fish, exotic fruits, herbs, beans & pulses (dried and tinned), tofu, brown rice noodles, curry pastes and lots more. I love this place, and it’s brilliant value. Nothing organic, unfortunately.
When your body has enough essential nutrients it will not crave extremely sweet things. For an occasional treat or special occasion though, here are some of the best. Ideally keep sweeteners for occasional (not daily) use. Stevia is OK to use regularly or daily.
Inulin: this is a (feeds-your-healthy-bacteria) fibre you can buy on www.iherb.com and other websites. It is very sweet and is derived from Jerusalem artichokes. It is possible to make very high end chocolates and treats using this instead of sugar. It can also be stirred into drinks, stewed fruit for sweetness and a fibre boost. If you’re not used to it, start with just small amounts at a time. Inulin is also found in onions but don’t worry this sweetener is just sweet, no other flavour.
Stevia: this herb is 300 times sweeter than sugar but contains no calories. Unlike sugar, Stevia appears to be reasonably harmless. Source pure stevia drops (e.g. Sweet Drops of Stevia) from good health stores, including Nourish but be careful to avoid so-called stevia products that contain chemical sweeteners. One brand actually contains sucralose, which, like aspartame, is a toxic chemical sweetener. A good stevia product will be made from stevia glycosides, stevia leaf powder or a combination of stevia and erythritol. Artificial sweeteners maltodextrin, saccharin, aspartame and sucralose damage your bowel and deplete good bacteria too.
Xylitol: find 100% pure xylitol in most health stores under various brand names. This is a granulated sweetener, derived from birch tree sap, that looks and tastes like white sugar. It can be used one for one as a substitute in recipes that call for sugar. It is low GI, safe for diabetics and does not upset blood sugar balance. Unlike chemical sweeteners it does not appear to have detrimental health effects though it can cause a loose bowel if you eat bucketloads of it. Make sure the product you buy is pure xylitol, a xylitol/erythritol or stevia mix. DO NOT GIVE XYLITOL TO DOGS. It is toxic to them. Xylitol stops tooth-decay bacteria sticking to your teeth which is why its found in sugar-free gums.
Erythritol: this is like xylitol. Possibly better.
Sweeteners – the best of the rest
Coconut sugar: Made from the sap of the cut blossoms of the coconut palm. It has a lovely caramel type flavour and is brown in colour. Because it’s not refined it does contain a few minerals. It has a lower GI (glycaemic index) than standard sugar but like all high-natural-sugar foods, doesn’t actively help your health. Buy in health shops.
Honey: The best quality honey is raw, from flower pollen (rather than bees fed in the hive on sugar). It will be dark or opaque in appearance and say things like acacia honey, chestnut honey, flower honey or manuka on the label. You will find it in health stores and gourmet shops but not necessarily in supermarkets. Honey should only be eaten in small amounts as it is still high in (natural) sugars and we know diets that contain high amounts of sugars are unhelpful to your health and vitality.
Maple Syrup: go for 100% pure, not “maple flavoured syrup” which is refined sugar. High in natural sugars. From delis, gourmet shops, health stores and supermarkets.
Raw Cane Molasses (light or dark): There are 3 types of molasses. Light molasses is made from the first boiling of the sugar cane juice. Dark molasses is from the 2nd boiling. Blackstrap is from the third boiling and is the least sweet. Unlike sugar, molasses still contains some nutrients like iron and chromium – which your body needs in order to process the sugar (glucose and fructose). It has a caramelised toffee flavour. Check label to ensure no added “preservatives” such as harmful sulphur dioxide. Find it in supermarkets and health stores.
Raw Agave Syrup: from health stores. Low GI. Go for 100% agave, not adulterated products. Low GI, high in fructose. Fructose slows down liver function so like most other syrups, regular intake of agave is not a good idea. Honey, molasses and coconut sugar are safer. From health stores.
Dried, Frozen or Unusual/Organic Fruits
Dried fruits: if you can, go for organic as these don’t contain the toxic preservative sulphur dioxide, linked to toxic bowel effects, asthma and allergy. Health stores and wholefood outlets like the Dublin Food Co Op and The Green Door Market sell unsulphured dried fruit but check the labels…
Dried apricots. Pure unsulphured only (these will be brown, rather than orange).
Dried cherries. Ideally unsweetened. From Dublin Food Co Op (see above)
Dried mulberries. These are naturally very sweet, like mini toffees. From health stores and sometimes the Green Door Market.
Frozen cherries. From Fallon & Byrne or sometimes The Green Door Market (see top).
Frozen berries – mixed, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries can be found in the freezer next to the ice cream section in large supermarkets or from Fallon & Byrne (see top). Please note: non-organic strawberries have high pesticide/herbicide residues so best kept for occasional use.
Papayas. Get gorgeous, ripe, enormous ones in the Asia Market, Dublin 2, from Halal/ethnic shops in your area, or sometimes from M&S.
Organic fruit. For a huge selection go to The Green Door Market. If you can’t buy organic, discard the outer peel of fruit and the outer leaves of lettuce, avoid spinach & kale. Check out www.EWG.org for the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen pesticide/herbicide residues in produce.
Chocolate & cocoa
80% or higher (cocoa solids) dark chocolate: find it fair trade in health stores, Green Door Market (see top) or discount supermarkets.
Plamil do a sugar-free plain dark chocolate that is really delicious and sweetened with xylitol instead of sugar so it won’t rot your teeth. This is available in some health stores.
Cocoa – ideally raw, organic and fair trade. Otherwise use whatever cocoa you can get your hands on. Health stores, supermarkets.
Oils & Fats
Extra virgin olive oil: Raw EVOO is fantastic for you and inhibits oxidation damage of LDL cholesterol (that clogs your arteries). It’s suitable for using in dressings and in anything where you are not cooking it above 100C – soups, stews etc
Cold-pressed seed oils: sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, rapeseed, flax/linseed – from health stores and gourmet stores. Avoid heating these delicate oils. Keep in the fridge. If you cannot get cold-pressed, then avoid. Health stores and The Green Door Market (see top) sell these. Omega 6 oils are best eaten in their natural form (as raw nuts and seeds) but small amounts of the pressed oils are OK.
Cold-pressed nut oils: walnut, hazelnut. From health stores and gourmet stores. Avoid heating these delicate oils. Keep in the fridge. If you cannot get cold-pressed, then avoid. Health stores, Dublin Food Co Op (see top).
Extra virgin coconut oil: this oil is safe for cooking/baking as (unlike nut/seed oils) it does not create high levels of toxic trans fats when heated. Buy it from large supermarkets, gourmet shops, good health stores, Green Door Market – go for single estate if you can – Lidl and a number of big Spanish brands have been fined for selling adulturated (fake, or mixed with fake) extra virgin olive oil.
These are all available in health stores, Green Door Market (see top) and sometimes in supermarkets. Use for cooking, tea/coffee, cereals where appropriate.
WARNING: Non-dairy milks can contain emulsifiers/sweeteners that damage your gut lining. Of particular concern are maltodextrin, carrageenan (E407), carboxymethylcellulose, polysorbate-80, asulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin. DO CHOOSE BRANDS WITHOUT THESE NASTIES.
Almond milk – look for unsweetened, a great all round dairy-free milk. Gluten-free.
Oat milk (contains gluten) – this is a really nice substitute for cow’s or goat’s milk. It is not gluten-free. Nice in tea, Rooibosch tea, coffee but it’s is not great for making sauces with as it tends to separate when you boil it (for sauces use unsweetened soya milk).
Hemp milk – another dairy-free option. Again, look for unsweetened.
Unsweetened coconut milk – nice, mildly coconutty flavour, great in coffee, smoothies, cereals. Naturally gluten-free. This is a milk substitute and is too thin for use in curries and sauces that call for tinned coconut milk.
Organic non-gmo soya milk (unsweetened): this is OK to use now and again and to make sauces like bechamel. The research suggests unfermented soya products are not really good for us but evidence backs up fermented soya (miso, tempeh, fermented tofu) as highly beneficial to adults.
Dandelion coffee: buy the whole roasted roots in health stores and grind your own in a coffee or spice grinder. Tastes bitter like real coffee but without the health-damaging effects. Cotswold brand is pure. Avoid instant dandelion coffee which is high in added sugar (lactose or dextrose).
Pure chicory: instant and delicious coffee substitute most people like. Avoid any with ingredients other than chicory (some contain sweeteners).
Pure cranberry juice by Biona – in bottles from good health stores. This needs sweetening with stevia drops (see sweeteners above), stevia powder or xylitol.
Fresh ricotta – made from buffalo or cow’s milk, this is often available from good delis, Fallon & Byrne (see top), or Italian shops. Ricotta, being made from whey, is healthier than other cheeses. Try to buy an Irish brand, such as Toos Bridge Dairy, if you have the chance. If you cant get ricotta, thoroughly mash or process some plain low fat cottage cheese for a similar effect.
Low fat cottage cheese – lower in saturated fat then chedder or processed cheeses, this can be processed or mashed to give a nice smooth texture. All large supermarkets stock this.
Natural soya yoghurt: look for brands that do unflavoured soya yoghurts. This means they will only contain a tiny amount of (usually) tapioca syrup in order to help the yoghurt-fermentation process. Avoid any with added sugar. Available in the chiller cabinet of good health shops.
Coyo or Abbot Kinney’s Coco Start coconut yoghurt: Contains healthy coconut oil, tooth-friendly xylitol sweetener, and is delicious. From the chiller cabinet of good health shops. Abbot Kinney’s is less pricey and often available in Jacks Pantry at the Green Door Market.
Yoghurt & Kefir
Natural and organic is the best. From all good supermarkets. Bulgarian yoghurt (e.g. Old McDonnels) is especially beneficial as the lactose (milk sugar) is thoroughly fermented, making this product lactose-free.
Greek yoghurt: this is made from sheep (ewe’s) or goats milk and is much easier to digest than cow-based yoghurts. “Greek-style” yoghurt is an imitation made using cow yoghurt and cream. Good supermarkets, delis and natural food stores and some ethnic shops sell Greek yoghurt.
Kefir is a yoghurt-like drink made by adding keffir grains to milk (or sweetened soya milk, almond milk or coconut milk). It contains over 30 different types of beneficial bacteria and is a powerhouse for your health, more so than natural yoghurt. Find ready-made keffir in the chiller cabinet of good health shops or make your own by purchasing live keffir grains from Down to Earth, a health shop on South Great Georges St, Dublin 2. Donna Schwenk book “Cultured Food for Life” shows you how to make keffir and a myriad of other vitality-boosting fermented drinks and foods.
Home made kefir is best because you can fully ferment it – getting rid of the casein to which so many people are sensitive. Fully fermented kefir is also lactose-free. Good news for lactose-intolerant folk. I am sensitive to normal milk products but home-made kefir is no problem!!
Good health stores and artisan bakers such as The Green Door Market sell a wide range of breads. Go for sourdough if you are buying gluten grains (wheat, spelt, rye) because sourdough fermentation gets rid of over 99% of the gluten, making these easy to digest and not as harmful to your gut. Even discount supermarkets are starting to stock 100% rye or dark wholegrain breads. Read the ingredient labels to get 100% wholegrain (and ideally sourdough) options. Organic does contain fewer harmful pesticide and herbicide residues. Breads can be sliced and frozen, or purchased vacuum packed.
100% rye bread: check labels, most “rye” breads are mostly (white) wheat flour. Sourdough 100% rye is best.
Sprouted 100% rye bread: (sprouting pre-digests grains & makes them sweeter, deliciously malty tasting and super-easy to digest)
Sprouted 100% wholewheat bread: also called “Essene” bread. The wheat is pre-digested by the sprouting process so is easier on the stomach. This is because the gluten has been broken down. Gluten damages ALL peoples intestine for several hours minimum.
McCambridge’s Soda Bread (if you must eat gluten) is one of the purest (few undesirable ingredients).
High quality gluten free breads
Look for GF breads made from wholegrains, rather than low-nutrient white grains. All gluten-free sliced pans I have found (up to 2019) contain chemical emulsifiers which damage everybody’s gut.
Biona Millet and Biona Brown Rice breads are great
McCambridges Gluten-free Wholemeal Soda Bread is great (contains buttermilk so if you are dairy-sensitive its not for you)
Hanna’s gluten free wholegrain bread from health shops and the gluten-free section of Fallon & Byrne
Primal (made with coconut flour) breads – also diabetic-friendly
Crackers (containing gluten)
When it comes to crackers, the darker and denser the better for your health.
Rough oatcakes unsweetened eg Nairn’s
Rye crackers Ryvita, Finncrisp, Wasa
Gluten free crackers:
Again, wholegrains are king while white or puffy products aren’t great.
Les Fleurs du Pain Buckwheatcrackers – good health stores, gourmet shops
Natshas Living Wholefoods sprouted flax crackers – health stores/delicatessens
Nairn’s Gluten-Free Oatcakes – guaranteed uncontaminated by gluten – health stores
Flours, rising agents and binders
Aluminium-free baking powder – many gluten-free baking powders are free of this neurotoxin. Aluminium is often listed as “flow agent” or “anti-caking agent”.
Arrowroot powder – this product has a thickening action just like cornflour – use it the same way as corn-flour to thicken stews and sauces. It’s corn-free so safer for coeliacs (50% of whom have adverse reaction to corn/maize).
Buckwheat flour. Naturally gluten-free and traditionally used in Brittany to make buckwheat galettes (pancakes). Available in health stores, Dublin Food Co-Op (see top) and gourmet shops.
Gram flour – this is simply ground chickpeas so is gluten-free. From Asian and wholefood stores.
Gluten-free baking powder – available in Dublin Food Co-Op, health stores. Look for brands that do not contain toxic aluminium (listed as “flow agent” or “anti-caking agent”).
Quinoa flour – this is ground quinoa so it’s gluten-free. From health stores.
Xanthan gum – a powder from health shops for sticking gluten-free baking together so its not too crumbly when you cut it. Health shops.
Beans & Pulses and their ready-made products
The cheapest place to buy these is in Asian shops. Organic or wholefood markets such as The Green Door Market sell both tinned and dried. Discount supermarkets and mainstream large supermarket chains increasingly stock a good selection. If you buy tinned, check they are free from added sugar.
Pulses: chickpeas, lentils (Puy, red or continental), split peas
Beans: black-eyed, borlotti, butter, flageolet, white haricot, cannellini, kidney, mung.
Broad beans: Fresh in season June to September in good greengrocers, Dublin
Food Co-op or farmers markets. Frozen year round in Asian/halal shops or gourmet supermarkets such as Fallon & Byrne (see top)
Fermented black beans: these are soya beans that you can use to make black bean sauce. Find them in The Asia Market or other Chinese food shops.
Gram flour – made from chickpeas. Gluten-free. Asian and health stores.
Taifun Grill Herb Sausages (NB these are not gluten-free) – health stores
Taifun Basil Tofu, Tofu Rosso (these appear to be gluten-free) – health stores
Tofu (look for organic gmo-free), vacuum packed (also naturally gluten-free) – Asian stores, health shops, good supermarkets. Plain tofu is gluten-free.
Whole Earth Baked Beans (naturally gluten-free and sugar-free too) – health stores/The Green Door Market (see top)
Humous – best brands are made with exclusively extra virgin olive oil (from health stores – see top). Next best: reduced fat humous (reduced amounts of harmful refined oils).
Porridge oatflakes – from supermarkets, health stores, Dublin Food Co-Op.
Jumbo oatflakes for making muesli
Lizi’s Oat Granola (contains honey) – from health stores and large supermarkets
Kelkin Tropical Mix Muesli (contains honey) – from large supermarkets
All these are available in health stores and now organic gluten-free oats are available in Aldi.
Gluten-free oats (ie guaranteed uncontaminated with gluten grains such as wheat).
Millet, buckwheat or quinoa flakes
Maria Lucia Bakes No added Sugar Granola
Naturally Gluten-free wholegrains
Brown rice (brown basmati cooks quickest) or rice flakes
Whole millet grains (cooks to look like couscous) or flakes
Whole quinoa grains, amaranth, buckwheat or their flakes
Wholegrain pasta (gluten-containing)
Gourmet shops, health stores and frequently Asian stores sell a good range of these. If you can, aim for organic as wheat crops are sprayed minimum 16 times with toxic pest/herbicides between sowing and harvesting. Gluten does damage EVERYONE’s gut though, science shows.
Japanese soba noodles (contain wholewheat and a little buckwheat)
100% wholewheat pasta (from all supermarkets, health stores – whatever shapes you fancy…)
Wholegrain pasta (gluten-free)
If you are coeliac or otherwise gluten-intolerant, check labels carefully to ensure you are not getting any wheat/semolina in the pasta.
Rice and Millet Pasta shapes (naturally gluten-free) – kids love the multicoloured pasta shells or spirals – and don’t seem to notice they are full of nutrients1
100% buckwheat pasta (naturally gluten-free)
Brown rice pasta (naturally gluten-free)
Brown rice noodles (naturally gluten-free) – Asia Market, D2, health stores
Flavourings, condiments, colourings, sauces, spreads & dips
Apple cider vinegar – great for joints, bones, digestion and flavour. Health/gourmet shops.
Balsamic vinegar: this should say aceto balsamico di Modena on the label and contain no added caramel (a noxious colouring) – from health/gourmet shops
Black olive tapenade – this is olives ground up with olive oil
Coconut Cream – this is a block of dried compressed coconut milk. Really good value in Asian shops but you can also buy in gourmet shops and delis. I keep mine in the fridge to keep it fresh but take it out before I want to use it, to let it soften a bit.
Coconut milk – this is basically soft coconut flesh, with a little of the coconut water to dilute it. Buy the full fat version (better for you) in tins from Asian shops (cheap) or supermarkets and delis (more expensive). It should be reasonable thick in the tin. This is NOT the same as coconut milk in cartons such as Koko, which is thin and ultra-pourable, and intended as a substitute for cows milk.
Cochineal: a natural pink colouring derived from the wing casings of an insect – bizarre but true! This colouring does not have the toxic effects of artificial colourings. Gourmet or kitchen shops often sell it. If you can’t get it you could try using the natural juice of thawed supermarket frozen raspberres for a pink colour – just allow to thaw in a sieve over a bowl overnight to catch the juice.
Creamed coconut – available cheaply from Asian stores & gourmet shops.
Kallo stock cubes – vegetable, chicken, beef and other flavours. In gourmet shops, large supermarkets, health stores & Dublin Food Co Op. This brand is at present, gluten-free but always check labels just in case anything changes!
Kombu – a seaweed – rich in iodine and useful for speeding up bean/pulse cooking – buy it in wholefood stores or gourmet shops.
Marigold or Vecon Vegetable Bouillon paste or powder. Makes a very meaty-tasting veg stock. Comes in a jar and is normally gluten-free but always check labels. From health stores.
Miso paste – Health stores, Dublin Food Coop, Asian stores. Hatcho miso and brown rice miso are gluten-free but do take care not to grab the barley miso if you are coeliac/gluten-intolerant as barley contains gluten. Use it in boiling water or vegetable cooking water to make a beefy stock for cooking or to make an instant soup.
Pesto (basil or red/sundried tomato) – top quality ones will be made with extra virgin olive oil instead of refined oils. If you need dairy-free, check ingredients carefully.
Preserved lemons – these are used a lot in Moroccan tagines and have a really distinctive flavour. You can buy ready made in some Halal/Asian shops or Fallon & Byrne or better still, make your own with unwaxed organic (or well scrubbed) lemons and Atlantic sea salt or Himalayan (pink) salt from health/gourmet shops – pack in a jar and leave for 2 weeks before using – recipe with every relevant tagine recipe on this blog. If you cant get any and don’t want to make your own then you can use well scrubbed ideally organic lemon peels (fresh lemon juice/flesh may make your stew too acrid whereas the preserved ones taste more mellow).
Ras al hanout – this is a gorgeous, aromatic Moroccan spice blend that you can buy in some Asian or Halal shops. It’s essential for tagines. The best quality is what you can make yourself by mixing the spices as it won’t contain low-quality salt – the recipe is included in every tagine recipe I post.
Tamari sauce (a Japanese wheat and gluten-free soya sauce from Asian shops and health stores too)
Himalayan or Atlantic Sea Salt not table salt (as contains toxic additives – aluminium usually)
Ceylon cinnamon for sprinkling on porridge, cereals – from Asian stores, supermarkets, health shops
Ground spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric + chilli – Asian/health stores, supermarkets
Thai green, red or yellow curry paste – the most economical brands (eg. Mae Ploy) are from Asian stores and these are hotter. Brands from supermarkets (eg. Amoy) and health stores tend to have very little heat and are much more expensive.
Thai fish sauce (nam pla) – Asian stores/supermarkets
Tahini: ideally raw (eg. Carly’s brand) if you can get it. Asian shops stock tahini.
Nut or seed butter: hazelnut, peanut, pumpkin seed, almond, walnut. Raw is best, if you can get it. Avoid added sugar brands.
Vanilla extract: Try to get “extract” which is made from vanilla. Vanilla “essence” is an artificial product concocted from chemicals which similate the vanilla flavour.
Vecon vegetable bouillon. This is usually gluten-free but always check labels. From gourmet shops and health stores.
Protein powders & lecithin
Protein powders are high quality and great for thickening smoothies or porridge to give you long, slow burn energy for many hours. Good health shops, The Natural Dispensary (you can phone and they will ask for a practitioner name, which is Anna Collins, or order on the internet), and Dublin Food Co Op stock some of these. Avoid protein powders with sweeteners and chemical additives.
Sprouted rice protein – ideally organic as non-organic rice can contain large amounts of toxic arsenic. Sprouted rice protein is very easily digested as sprouting essentially pre-digests foods.
Pea Protein – ideally organic – comes in plain versions (e.g. for thickening soups) as well as sweetened (for smoothies etc.)
Solgar Whey to Go Vanilla (whey protein concentrate) – contains dairy but is free from junk sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, sucralose, lactose etc. Great for supporting your liver as it boosts liver-protecting glutathione in the body.
Sun Warrior Vegan Protein Powder – Classic blend (very smooth). Great quality, sweetened with harmless, calorie-free stevia
Sun Warrior Vegan Protein Powder – Warrior blend (more grainy texture, my personal favourite). Sweetened with stevia.
Lecithin granules: usually derived from soya (look for gmo-free), these are available in every health shop.
Raw nuts, seeds
Buy the freshest nuts and seeds, ideally organic, in wholefood markets like The Green Door or Dublin Food Coop, or in health shops with a high turnover of goods to ensure freshness. I don’t always find the nuts sold in supermarkets very fresh.
Linwoods milled seed blends or pure linseed for sprinkling on porridge. Wholefood stores stock the freshest nuts/seeds. If possible, avoid roasted/toasted crunchy ground seed brands, a cooking/toasting damages their healthy oils. After grinding seeds, keeping them in an airtight glass jar in the fridge keeps them freshest.
Nuts: almonds, Brazil, macadamia, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecan, peanut. Nuts soaked overnight in filtered water are the most digestible of all.
Chestnuts: Available cooked and vacum-packed from gourmet shops or dried from good health stores such as Down to Earth, South Great George’s St, Dublin 2 or sometimes from oriental shops. To prepare the dried ones, simply soak overnight and then boil till tender.
Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax (also called linseed), chia. Grind tiny seeds to release the beneficial nutrients.
Chard: this is a dark green leafy spinach-like vegetable that’s sold in posh groceries and in the Dublin Food Co Op (see top). You can substitute spinach if you cant get chard.
Chicory: a pale green, tight bud with a slightly bitter taste that’s fantastic for helping digestion. Dunne’s Stores, The Green Door Market and fancy groceries sell it all year.
Fresh is best as the plastic coating in tins contains Bisphenol A, which leaches into the food inside and is harmful to health. Keep tinned fish to just or twice a week but remember fresh is best.
Salmon (tinned/smoked): ideally wild, alternatively organic if possible. In supermarkets look for special offers which come up often.
Mackerel: fresh, smoked or tinned in water/brine not oil or tomato (oil and acid leech toxic bisphenol A from tin linings)
Sardines: fresh or tinned in water/brine (not oil)
Vegetables in tins (or better still, jars)
Tomatoes: tinned, sieved (passata) or puree – from supermarkets, health stores. When possible choose glass packaging instead of tins to reduce exposure to toxic bisphenol A (BPA) from plastic can and carton linings. The contamination tends to be less in foods not containing fat (BPA is drawn to fat molecules).
Herbs & spices
Fresh herbs: best value from Asian/Halal shops (flat leaf parsley, coriander, mint, dill especially). Also available from good greengrocers.
Spices: best value from Asian shops such as the Asia Market, D2 (see above). Supermarket spices are usually not as fresh as those in exotic shops with high turnover of goods. See flavourings, condiments section for specific spices and spices blends.