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Thoughts from category: ingredients

autumn has officially arrived

We've been getting very excited about autumn. We found a load of fruit in the UK that we've made into a seasonal recipe, available in little bottles and big cartons. And we've made a film about it too...

The recipe is damsons, blackberries and elderflowers (in bottles), while the carton has damsons, blackberries and apples in it. Our elderflower growing friends in Hertfordshire had a tough year this year, so there were only limited amounts of elderflowers available.

It's good to get ingredients from harvest to bottle in a matter of days, so we hope you enjoy this recipe. From field to fridge in the blink of an eye.

wild man, wild food

Fergus Drennan (Wild Man, Wild Food) is a professional forager whose diet consists of about 50% wild food. His website features such delicacies as a recipe for pan fried squirrels. Mmm.

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Fergus and some sloes

Intrigued by Fergus's unique view on where to find fine ingredients, our recipe inventors headed off to the Kent coast to meet him and learn more about the unusual foods that are growing on our doorstep.

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hunting for seaweed

It was a long day which consisted of foraging for, among other things, seaweed, samphire, sloes, rosehips and seabuckthorn berries.

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seabuckthorn berries

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Lucy, samphire and seaweed

The day ended with a squirrel-free bonfire on the beach, cooking up all the food that had been foraged. And we returned to Fruit Towers full of slightly odd ideas about what to put in our next smoothie. We'll let you know if we manage to crack a seaweed recipe.

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a film about our strawberries

We've tried loads of strawberries over the years and have realised that Senga Sengana is the variety that tastes best. And seeing as we want our drinks to taste the best, that's the variety we use. Senga isn't grown in the UK, so we go to Poland to get ours. We were there a few weeks ago, and made a little film while we were there.

This season's crop has been excellent - you can taste and see the difference - check out the deep red colour and intense flavour of our strawberries and bananas smoothie at the moment.

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Ground_up_cats_label

You may have noticed that now and again we like to make sure our drinkers are on their toes and paying attention by slipping in the odd unlikely ingredient to the list.

Shiny trumpets, two-man tents and rubber ducks have all been known to have made an appearance at some point.

But we were still shocked to receive a concerned email from Rhian about a new entrant:

While drinking my delicious innocent breakfast thickie this morning, I was most alarmed to read that the ingredients included 'a sprinkling of ground up cats'.

Thankfully I am not a vegetarian, but do not usually eat any cat until after lunch as it plays havoc with my digestive system. I would be most grateful if you revise your recipe as I'd hate to give them up. Surely there is something else you can use to give it similar bite?

We are happy to inform Rhian that this particular label appears to have been the victim a printing slip-up, and not an attempt on our part at introducing exciting new ingredients into the world of quality fruit drinks. It should of course read 'a sprinkling of ground up oats'. Of course.

And we'd like to take this opportunity to say that our drinks have been cat-free since we launched. We plan on maintaining this stance for the foreseeable future.

well behaved pineapples

We like to buy fruit from farms that make that extra effort to look after their workers and the environment. So we've been buying Rainforest Alliance certified bananas for a while now, and are keen to get our pineapples certified as well. However, at the moment there are no farms certified to the standard to provide them to us. Our Jess went to visit pineapple growers in Costa Rica recently, to learn more about pineapple farming, and to understand what actions were needed to get the farms certified.

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After a bit of research and chatting to the farmers, it seems that the three main areas the farms are working on are conserving biodiversity, protecting the soil from erosion and worker safety. So we'll be working closely with the farms and auditors from the Rainforest Alliance over the next few months on these three main areas, and will hopefully get that certification. Oh yes.

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Yolanda and Francisco (Rainforest Alliance auditors), and our Jess

A word about the pineapples we'll be buying...they're called Mayan Gold and are really juicy and sweet. The plants and the pineapples are very prickly on the outside, so you have to wear special clothes when picking them, to protect your skin. The pineapples are prone to sunburn if they're on the outside of the plant, which means that they don't look so pretty but they still taste great.

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