Organic & Plant-Based Living
Tofu, tempeh, seitan… what’s the deal?
Tofu is made by combining condensed soy milk with nigari, and pressing the mixture into tight blocks. It’s a good source of protein, as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Tofu is a great addition to many meals and effortlessly takes on the taste of whatever ingredients you’re cooking with. To maximise flavour, we recommend pressing your tofu for at least 30 minutes and marinating for an additional 30. You can also freeze tofu; the post-defrost texture provides more surfaces for the marinade to seep in.
Tempeh is made from fermented whole soy beans and contains more protein (20g per 100g) and dietary fiber than tofu. Like most fermented foods, tempeh is rich in probiotics, as the fermentation process increases digestibility and nutrient absorption. Tempeh has a unique texture, which easily absorbs the marinade of choice. Bake or fry to intensify the flavour and add to your dish (or eat on its own!).
Seitan is not related to soy in any way and is actually made from wheat gluten. If you are gluten intolerant or celiac, stay away. However, if you are not, seitan is high in protein, rich in selenium and iron, and low in carbs and fat, and could therefore be a good option for those trying to lose weight. Seitan can be molded into many different shapes and is often used in recipes as an alternative to chicken.
The benefits of valerian root are plentiful.
Most commonly used in relation to initiating sleep, valerian root can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve overall quality of sleep. It is also useful in fighting general anxiety by increasing GABA levels, as low GABA levels are linked to acute and chronic stress, as well as poor sleep. Valerian root is antispasmodic, which means it as a natural muscle relaxer, and is therefore a good option for the relief of menstrual cramps. Make your own valerian root tea by seeping a teaspoon in hot water for 5 minutes, or take a valerian root based tincture, such as A.Vogels Dormeasan (should not be taken if on other medication to treat similar symptoms).
Nooch, nootch… whatever you call it, nom nom nom!
Nutritional yeast is a great addition to any diet, omnivore or herbivore. It is almost concentrated in its fibre content, which is the fuel that keeps our digestive system ticking along. Two tablespoons (16g) of nutritional yeast contains 5g of carbs, of which 4g is fibre! It is a great source of B vitamins, including the elusive vitamin B12, making it a great energy source, and a good addition to any breakfast or pre-workout smoothie. It is a wonderful source of plant protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Nutritional yeast has a nutty/cheesy flavour and is great for making dairy-free cheese and sauces, or sprinkling on top of your favourite pasta dish. It even makes a nice topping for popcorn. We now stock nutritional yeast with B12, packaging free, so take a couple of grams home and try it out.
The Age of Sage
Since moving into our new home on the North Circular Road at the end of 2018, we have smudged the shop on a fairly regular basis, initially on the recommendation of one of our iontach customers. The practice of smudging or burning white sage is an ancient ritual, traditionally used by Native Americans. The ritual is said to purify the air and space it occupies, as white sage is both antimicrobial and antibacterial. This claim is backed by a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, which showed a 94% reduction in aerial bacteria after burning sage for 60 minutes. This may be why people with asthma can benefit from regular smudging! White sage is also a natural mood enhancer, as it is rich in compounds that activate certain mood elevating receptors in the brain. It is also traditionally used to treat anxiety and depression. So if you are ever wondering why we’re always so chirpy in our little haven, a small part of it is due to this wonderful plant. Thanks, sage.
All of our wines are vegan and are priced from €14 upwards. Please remember to always enjoy alcohol responsibly.
Organic wine comes from vineyards that are farmed using organic practices, meaning no pesticides, no herbicides, and no chemical fertilizers. In the United States, organic wines cannot contain any added sulphites. In the EU, some sulphites are permitted – less than 100 parts per million (ppm) per litre for reds and 150ppms for dry whites and roses.
Biodynamic wine is produced using biodynamic farming principals. This spiritual, ethical, ecological approach to agriculture, gardening, food production, and nutrition was brought about by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. In biodynamic farming, the vineyard is viewed as one ecosystem, with each part contributing to the next. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are forbidden for the sake of soil fertility. In terms of sulphites, Demeter has stricter regulations, allowing less than 70ppm for reds and 90ppm for dry white and rose wines.
The practice of making natural wine is in essence the most genuine and natural, with NO additions. However, it is the only one of the three types that is not currently regulated. In theory, natural wines are more alive, less manipulated; in practice, die-hard adherence to the philosophy sometimes wins out over actual appeal. Some natural wines are delicious and some are just flat-out weird. Sulphites are a natural by-product of fermentation, so there will almost always be trace amounts of naturally-occurring sulphites in wine, even those with no additives.