Hi! I'm a nature-loving foodie who loves to create beautiful, healthy, natural foods which I serve in my cafe, 'The Nectar' (yes it is a real cafe!) and for myself and friends and family. I want to share with you some of my creations throughout the year here on this blog. Here you will find recipes that are inspired by the seasons, what grows locally around me and follow my food philosophy of nourishing, natural nurturing dishes. I love food that looks beautiful, is kind to the planet and good for our body and soul! I hope you enjoy reading, looking and making!
Are you vegetarian?
The Nectar cafe is 100% vegetarian, with all food being suitable for vegans. All of our drinks can be made with our handmade almond milk, or organic cows milk. I have eaten this way for many years, since being raised on a vegetarian diet from an early age, and discovering vegan and raw foods over the past 10 years. I love making this kind of food, and have thrived on a high-plant based diet most of my life. I have, over the years however, learned that I feel best on many levels when I do not restrict myself to any one type of diet, and have explored other ways of eating in more recent years. I love to experiment with baking on my days off the cafe, which is so different from making raw cakes! I love to use local, seasonal produce, so I include eggs from my neighbours yard in my own diet regularly, and choose to eat sustainable fish as a treat.. Since my pregnancy, I have found that these foods nourish my body in a way that raw vegan doesn't always do. I basically love all foods which are well sourced, consciously prepared and full of vitality. Shopping locally with producers that I know is one of the highlights of my day! Almost all of the recipes that you will find on this blog are vegetarian and vegan or vegan-adaptable.
Is your food suitable for celiacs/gluten free?
I almost always choose grain-free/ gluten free over processed flours, and everything that we make in The Nectar cafe is free from gluten. We do buy fresh artisan bread from our neighbouring bakery for our wholesome sarnies, but other than that, no gluten products are used in our food. On the blog, and in my own cooking, I choose to use gluten free flours such as almond flour, coconut flour or buckwheat, as I find them to be much more nutritious than wheat and suitable for all.
What are your favourite foods?
As I said before, I love all food and can't think of much I don't like! I always choose fresh green salads with most of my meals, and love fresh flavours of Asian foods such as Viatnamese rice paper rolls and miso soups. My top ingredients include fresh corriander avocados, summer berries, coconuts, Kale, squashes, lemons and spicy salad leaves.
Do you sell your products?
Yes! We package and sell some of our products that we make at The Nectar cafe. You can buy our go-go balls, chocolate fudge slices, flapjax and slices or whole raw cakes in health food shops in Norwich or to order. We also package our sprouted seed crackers, buckwheaties, granola and teas. Please be in touch if you are interested in buying or stocking our products!
What equipment to do you use?
I use a high powered blender everyday, a vitamix 5000, which is my pride and joy! It makes super smooth nut butters, cheeses, smoothies, dressings, nut milks, cheese cakes, dips.. pretty much everything! I use a magimix food processor for making solid things such as our go-go balls and cakes. I have an Oscar juicer which keeps as much of the nutrients in the juice as possible and is very gentle. I love making green juices in this. I make dehydrated foods often, for snacks and preserving our produce, so my excaliber 9 tray is essential to me. Other than that, I love my slow cooker at home for making nourishing stews and casseroles. I have a huge cast iron dutch oven which makes amazing bread and slow-cooked dishes. I also keep a selection of kilner jars for making fermented foods in, they're the best for keeping sauerkraut and lacto-fermented veggies in. And the basics, two good knives, wooden spoons, spatula pestle and morter, nice crockery for serving! These are all you really need to make good simple real food!
What about you? Who are you?!
I am Jo, I have always loved creating good food, growing food, foraging and sharing with others! I opened The Nectar cafe in 2011 after working with raw/vegan catering for many years. Now, I am loving making food for the cafe and myself from home as I prepare to birth my first baby with my partner Geoff. I am looking forward to the future of my work, as a full time mother and foodie, and the cafe continues to grow in the good hands of my amazing friends. My moto and strapline for the cafe sums it up for me; Living food and Loving life!