Fairtrade Friday Review

Fairtrade Friday Review – Power Super Foods Raw Cacao Powder.

Welcome to this week’s Fairtrade Friday. Admittedly I am posting it on a Saturday here where I live… but as it’s still Friday somewhere in the world, I feel I can get away with it! 😉

This week has just been super busy as my kids are about to head back to school and so I needed to ensure we had a stocked pantry of good, organic, wholesome homemade treats!

Which brings me to this week’s Fairtrade Friday… Yes, it’s a food! If you have been following my Fairtrade Friday reviews you’ll know all about what I’m doing here. If you’ve not been following them… do so now – it’s never too late!

I will admit that this week’s product comes under the ‘Fairly Traded’ umbrella more than the certified Fairtrade. It is an Australian Certified Organic item and to gain that certification the company must only use workers and farmers who are fairly treated. I’ve done a big long spiel on this in another Fairtrade Friday post so go check it out if you need more clarification.

And this week’s item is all about the chocolate! Being the huge chocoholic that I am – what? You couldn’t guess from some of my other reviews? – I have found quality over quantity is very important. That is why I do prefer cacao powder over cocoa… though there is a time and place for a good quality cocoa rather than a cacao, just to be confusing!

To learn more about what cacao powder is and the difference between it and cocoa – a web search is probably your best bet. Though Power Super Foods do explain it a little too.

The basic summary (from how I understand it) is cacao powder is the less refined version of cocoa. It’s when the cacao bean (where we get chocolate from) is slow roasted at a lower heat than the process used to make cocoa and therefore a lot more nutrients are kept. The higher the heat and the longer you process something, the less nutrients survive. See refined and unrefined sugar or sea salt versus table salt for some good examples.

So, in layman’s terms, cacao powder can be seen as the less refined, more nutrient dense form of cocoa. And being denser in nutrients, it has a more potent flavour. And sometimes this flavour is just too strong and can destroy the delicate balance of flavour I am after in my baking/making, or it makes the product taste too strong for my children’s developing taste buds… which is why I do admit to still using cocoa powder. There is a time and place for both… just remember to choose quality (and therefore ethically better) products for either of them.

Before we start, here is a bit of a disclaimer for you all:

I bought this product with my own money, I am not being paid to make this review, nor will I be reimbursed for my work. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on Fairtrade items I buy to help raise awareness as to how easy it is to do.

And so here we go! Today’s Fairtrade Friday shout out goes to…

Power Super Foods Raw Organic Cacao Powder.

500g_cacaopowder_rgb_1.jpg

 

 4 out of 5 stars.

This is my favourite all-purpose cacao powder. Don’t boggle at the concept as I do find some cacao powders have a stronger, more over powering taste and so aren’t suitable for hot chocolates, smoothies or bliss balls – especially when making them for the kids.

Although I do find it a little ‘tame’ when it comes to making my own raw dark chocolate, it is such a better all-purpose cacao for all my other cooking, making and baking that I don’t mind. Chocolate making (for me) is only a few times a year while hot chocolates can be daily. 😉

I will admit here and now I am not a band wagon jumper and I tend to avoid the whole ‘we eat it because it’s a super food’ deal. I don’t buy this cacao powder as it is a super food, I buy it because it tastes great and, since researching this product, realise those who supply it are doing their best to make the world better for the farmers, producers and consumers. They are ensuring it is ethically produced and they care about the environment it comes from. Always important!

Please note that this is another product some people will freak about the price of. Don’t freak – this product is very reasonably priced for what you get. Unsurprisingly, when you pay the farmers and producers the money they deserve, the end product is going to cost more! The huge bonus to this is that Power Super Foods openly show that they put their profits back into the community through charitable donations.

Another thing I like about this company is their hearts and minds are in the right place. And you can see what I mean by this by visiting their site here.

For me, I also find this cacao powder better suited to me – as I get that glorious ‘at peace’ buzz from it without getting the screaming headache after affect some other cacao powders give. This comes from the levels of Theobromine (I think) and the higher the levels the better the buzz but the stronger the crash and burn sensation afterwards. This cacao powder doesn’t do that to me as often as other cacao powders – so a definite bonus. Though I will state here and now ‘everything in moderation’. I can’t consume this product every day for a week and expect to walk away unharmed. But if I mix it up a little – cocoa berry banana smoothie one day, chocolate brownie another, skip a day of chocolate and so on – I’m fine.

The glorious thing about this cacao powder is that it’s so rich and satisfying I don’t need chocolate every day! A shocker I know! For someone soooo addicted to chocolate, I find this great news. I get such a good ‘hit’ from Super Foods Organic Raw Cacao it can last me a week or two before I need another. And a little goes a long way.

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. As I’ve said, it’s my favourite all-purpose chocolate flavour when baking and making foods. It comes from an ethically minded producer, is easy to find in my neck of the woods, is versatile and tastes great.

Would I buy this product again?

Yes I would. Just did in fact. It’s how I discovered they have different packaging for same item. The one I used to buy is their ‘kraft’ bag and my new one is in their ‘origin’ bag. As the kraft bag is paper on foil and their origin bag appears to be just plastic – I’m curious to see how the flavour changes as I’m not a huge fan of plastic packaging as I do feel it changes the flavour. Time will tell and I may need to post an update!

In summary: Yummy, versatile, organic and ethically produced where the farmers and producers are dealt with fairly, even if they’ve not gone the extra mile (and expense) to be certified as Fairtrade. Definitely a cacao powder to go out and try when you next want to add some depth and ‘wow’ factor to your baking!

Until next time.

Fairtrade Friday Review – Nutra Organics Choc Berry Chunk.

Welcome to this week’s Fairtrade Friday!

I won’t go over why I’m holding Fairtrade Fridays or what Fairtrade (and Fair Trade) is all about, as I’ve pretty much covered that over the past few Fridays. Instead I’m going to jump right on in to today’s product.

And here is a bit of a disclaimer for you all:

I bought this product with my own money, I am not being paid to make this review, nor will I be reimbursed for my work. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on Fairtrade items I buy to help raise awareness as to how easy it is to do.

And so here we go! Today’s Fairtrade Friday shout out goes to…

Nutra Organics Choc Berry Chunk.

choc berry chunk

So, you know how there are certain chocolate drinks that are meant to be really good for your kids as they’re supposedly full of loads of vitamins and minerals? But are in fact mostly sugar and made by a company that possibly wouldn’t know what Fairtrade was if it up and bit them…

Nutra Organics Choc Berry Chunk isn’t one of those! Which is why I let my kids have it as part of their breakfast.

Basically, before I knew any better, my kids were allowed other chocolate powdered items to mix with milk and drink as a ‘healthy treat’. When I learnt more about how much sugar was actually in it, and how little else there was – and add to that the dealings this company has had with people in developing countries… well, they were cut from our list of pantry welcome items.

Sadly, my kids still craved it despite knowing the reasons I stopped buying it and so have been asking me to make or find a substitute. I tried making some from scratch – didn’t pass their taste tests. Then tried Nutra Organics Choc Chunk and, well two out of my three kids like it. As that is the usual response from my ‘Hordes’, I take it as a success. Seriously, you will never get all three to agree on something at this stage of their lives… it’s just not going to happen.

Nutra Organic do make a lot of different products, some of which we also use, but today I’m just going to talk about their Choc Berry Chunk. And I give it…

4 out of 5 stars

Not only is there less than a gram of sugar per serving size (6 grams), but it is a sugar made from unrefined and organic or wild harvest products such as coconut sugar and dried berries.

It also contains 10% of their recommended daily intake of calcium, has a list of wild harvested or organic nutrient dense superfoods (AKA things like blueberries) and – best of all – taste great in both dairy milk and dairy free milks such as nut milk, coconut milk or even in warm water as a hot chocolate.

Although we’ve not tried it in other ways yet, I’m told it is as versatile as other chocolate powdered products and goes great sprinkled on ice cream, or used in baking or raw making things like bliss balls.

It’s school friendly as is nut free, as well as being ‘allergy friendly’ to the most common problems as it is also wheat free, gluten free, additive free and dairy free. Add to that it’s suitable for vegans, GMO free, Australian certified organic, Australian owned and made and… Certified Fairtrade! 🙂

The reason I personally like it as I really can see it making a difference to my kid’s diet. They eat mostly healthy and wholefoods I’ve made myself… but they are sometimes fussy and so miss out on much needed nutrients. After a week of my kids having two teaspoons in a glass of milk each day, their health improved. They went from run down, lethargic and one with ulcers in her mouth to happy, bouncing about, bright eyes and ulcer free. It’s the only thing I changed in their diet and so do credit it with their positive changes.

One downside to this product is it comes in a plastic container. I’m not a fan of plastic and would prefer it in glass… but it is a container 100% recyclable and so meets my zero waste standards.

Would I recommend this product to others? Yes I would. It’s not sickly sweet, full of sugar and made by a company who appears, to me, to be more interested in making money than providing our kids with a healthier option. Once a day, or as an occasional treat during the week, this is perfect. It not only tastes good, but adds some extra nutrients to my kid’s diet.

Would I buy this product again for myself? Yes I would. As said, Nutra Organics make several products and this is just one of the ones I would, and do, buy. They also make a Choc Chunk bar which is basically this powder in a bills ball like substance shaped as a small bar. This is an easier option for an afternoon tea snack and another good option.

In summary: Fairtrade, Organic, dairy, wheat, gluten and refined sugar free and a great product that is owned by Australians and made by Australians for our Aussie kids. I was doubtful this product would really live up to all the healthy hype, but it does, it really does. Highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

Fairtrade Friday Review – The Environmental Toothbrush.

Welcome to this week’s Fairtrade Friday!

Something interesting I’ve discovered this week is fair trade and Social Justice standards vs Fairtrade Certification. It’s fascinating! They do basically mean and do the same things for the people involved in the growing and making of products in developing countries, it’s just not all ‘fair trade’ work is certified. This doesn’t stop it from being fair trade; it’s just not going to have that good old Fairtrade stamp on its packaging or website.

Hopefully that makes sense!

An example of this is if an item is certified organic by NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia) – where items are grown and produced in places like Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Malaysia – to gain the NASAA certification, specific parts of their policy covering Social Justice must be upheld. This section of their policy covers the ethical and safe work practices almost identical to those to be Fairtrade certified. So, while not being certified as being Fairtrade… fair trade practices must be in place to qualify for the organic certification. See – fascinating!

And, yeah, I really do hope it makes sense! 😉 What I’m trying to say is that not everything fair trade we use is… Fairtrade.  It appears to be capitalised and pushed together into one word means you are referring to the official Fairtrade certification, rather than just a company that treats its workers as they should.

So, what does this do to my Fairtrade Friday? How can I truly be sharing reviews on items if they are not Fairtrade certified? Well, I never said an item needed to be Fairtrade certified before I would review it. I simply said it needed to be fair trade. And if I can find something written in the public domain by a company that states its practises are fair trade… I’m just going to trust it is true. So if they say they are fair trade (but not Fairtrade), I am going to simply trust the same ethical and fair working principles are being upheld. Plus, if I see something with certain organic certification – even if there is no Fairtrade stamp – I will at least know fair trade practices were in place to bring that product into my home.

Some may feel this is me being a tad naïve… but, you know what? The world would be a nicer place if we didn’t think everyone we spoke to was lying. And, as they’re saying their items are fair trade in the public eye I’m going to believe them. If they made it up just to sound cool, it’s more than just negative karma points and litigation based on lies they’d be dealing with! 😉

Wow, only week three into this new Fairtrade idea and it’s totally blowing me away the different aspects this one word (or two as the case may be) holds.

And, as this is week three, I won’t go into explaining what Fairtrade Friday is all about. Read my articles from week one and two as they’ve got it all covered. What I am doing, why and all that.

Instead, let’s go on into the review!

Before we start, here is a bit of a disclaimer for you all:

I bought this product with my own money, I am not being paid to make this review, nor will I be reimbursed for my work. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on Fairtrade items I buy to help raise awareness as to how easy it is to do.

And so here we go! Today’s Fairtrade Friday shout out goes to…

The Environmental Toothbrush.

‘What the heck is that’ I hear you ask? Well, The Environmental Toothbrush is a simply amazing toothbrush and one I stumbled upon more from my desire to strive for zero waste than to support Fairtrade. I am just thrilled that – although they do not show a Fairtrade certification on their site or products – they do state this is a ‘fair trade’ item. See my little conversation about this above.

Okay, back to the toothbrush. It is made from sustainably grown (not planation produced) bamboo in China. It is then treated with ‘non nasty chemicals’ and has some BPA free bristle attached. Seriously, if you want to know the real technical side of it, please go visit their site here.

My rating?

3 out of 5 stars.

 We bought some of these toothbrushes last year and we do love them and love the fact they are affordable AND we can just go chuck them in the compost when we’re done with them and just know they’re going to breakdown and be way better for the earth that the plastic ones we used to buy.

These toothbrushes are, sadly, all identical and this can be an issue. But I, wisely, had my three kids write their names and draw little pictures on the handles to identify whose is who’s before we used them. And as the handle doesn’t go in the mouth, I don’t worry about the pen ink being consumed. So, yes, identical toothbrushes but easy to personalise.

Although they are fabulous, my hubby finds even the adult ones a little small and petite for him. We are tall people and don’t have a heck of a lot of petiteness going for us and so the size is an issue. BUT! He does tell me the benefits of what the toothbrush is, how it is made and how environmentally friendly it is to get rid of far outweigh this size issue. It’s also great they now come in different bristle levels (soft, medium, hard) as they never used to. So, yes, they are too small for big people to use comfortably. But can still be used, and are worth the mild discomfort of having to hold it only between two fingers to be able to use it, thanks their biodegradable nature.

You can buy the toothbrushes direct from The Environmental Toothbrush people, or get them from either online or instore at any good health food shop. I know of half a dozen places here in the Adelaide Hills I can buy them no sweat. And they are always the same price as they are online.

Some people have complained that they don’t last long… but I’ve always been of the belief you should change your toothbrush every season! So you’re going through 4 toothbrushes per person in the house every year! That alone was such a sobering thought that it was why I started to seek out a biodegradable option. At least twenty five plastic toothbrushes going into landfill from my home, each year? No thanks!

I’ve also been asked how well they clean. Well, we’ve had no major dental emergencies, no holey teeth and no fillings required for the kids (us old fogeys and our decades of tooth abuse…. We won’t go there 😉 ) so I’d say they are doing a good enough job. Heck, they were designed by a dentists and, again, I’d like to think they know what they’re doing when it comes to dental hygiene. No, I don’t think I blindly put my trust in others too easily, I just think some trust is better than doubting everyone.

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. Definitely. They do the job they’re designed to do, they are made ethically and in an environmentally friendly manner, they state they are fairly traded; they are an excellent price for what you get and using them cuts down on the amount of plastic being made, used and thrown out into the world. Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind and any product that helps us move towards zero waste is an awesome product!

Would I buy this item for myself?

Yes I would. In fact I just saw on their website you can buy a year’s supply for a great price and so I will be heading back over there shortly to look into that little bargain. If I can buy them all at once instead of every few months that cuts down on ‘travel miles’ adding to the carbon footprint we leave behind. Yes, I’m always thinking outside the box for items we bring into our home!

In summary – This is an AWESOME product! A biodegradable toothbrush. BPA free, fairly traded, suitable for vegans (as no animal products used – some alternative toothbrushes use pig’s bristles) and all in all something I think you should check out for your family today!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

Fairtrade Friday Review – Niugini Organics Coconut Oil.

Welcome to this week’s Fairtrade Friday!

So what is Fairtrade Friday? It’s where I find Fairtrade items and review them every Friday. Fairly easy to understand isn’t it? Basically I want to give a shout out to Fairtrade companies the world over as they are doing their best to make the world better for the farmers, producers and sellers of items. I also want to highlight how easy it is to shop and use Fairtrade items.

We are a single income family and don’t have the money to splash around on frivolous things. However, we are also a family with a big heart who want to try and help make the world a better place one tiny step at a time. We’re doing this in different ways. One is that we’re striving to become a zero waste household. Another is we try and shop and buy local as much as possible. And when we can’t buy something that is grown and made locally we strive for Fairtrade, sustainable, ethical and all round eco-friendly. You can do it too, and I hope my Fairtrade segment helps you realise how possible it is.

What does Fairtrade mean?

As I gather a lot of good information from Fairtrade Australia, here is how they explain it all:

“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”

The most basic explanation I can give of Fairtrade is where larger companies work with small companies in developing countries and pay them a decent amount of money for their goods, services and products. Meaning: if, in our country, it would cost $12 an hour to do something… the big companies pay the economical equivalent to people doing the same job in their developing country. What you need to understand is $12 here can be equal to $200 elsewhere… so they get equivalent rather than the exact same amount. Hopefully that makes sense?

And it isn’t all about pay. The bigger companies help set up the smaller companies in the developing countries to ensure they have better work environments, healthier/ safer conditions to work in, decent work hours and so on. Basically, Fairtrade is trying to ensure workers in developing countries get to work in the same safe, healthy environments we get to work in, they get to work decent hours and not horrendously long hours and they get paid exactly what their efforts are worth, not just a token few cents and left to toil in sweat shops and slave labour situations.

This is why Fairtrade is so important to me! It is my family’s way of supporting families in developing countries and saying – you deserve what we have! Think about it when you next go to buy something. Yes they Fairtrade item may cost just that little bit more… but when you consider where that money is going, it is the right choice.

Okay, onto the review!

And here is a bit of a disclaimer for you all:

I bought this product with my own money, I am not being paid to make this review, nor will I be reimbursed for my work. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on Fairtrade items I buy to help raise awareness as to how easy it is to do.

And so here we go! Today’s Fairtrade Friday shout out goes to…

Niugini Organic Coconut Oil.

Niugini Organic coconut oil

I’m not going to do a big lecture on coconut oil, it’s pro and cons and so on. We use it, we love it. We are aware of the health concerns that come with it; we’ve accepted that and have moved on. 🙂

For those who do need a little coconut oil 101 here is a small paragraph:

It is made by extracting oil from the flesh of fresh coconuts, often cold pressed. There are many different views on the good and bad of the saturated fats it contains. It has a similar consistency to butter and we use it in baking and cooking (sweet and savoury) as a dairy free replacement to butter. It has a high smoking point so is awesome for deep frying (not that I do that too often) and has a mountain of positive uses. Just Google to see for yourself, if you would like to know more.

But this post isn’t about coconut oil; it is a review of my favourite coconut oil brand. And I give them a…

4 out of 5 stars.

Niugini Organic Coconut Oil is fantastic. I buy it in the large 1000ml (1kg) Kilner jar as we use it so often. I buy a jar about everyone month or so, and if I’m honest and really don’t feel it is too expensive when you know what it is, how it is made and who you are supporting.

Plus the Kilner jars are re-usable and just so awesome! Our cupboards are full of them to store dried beans, herbs, nuts and so on and I love using them when I make my own nut milk yoghurt.

But I don’t buy it for the jars! I buy it for the taste.

I’ve tried a few different coconut oils and found some of them just a little too overpowering in taste and smell. I don’t know what it was, but some of them just don’t sit right with me. I’ve also tried the odourless coconut oils and although they are palatable, they are far more refined and therefore starting to lose the benefits attributed to coconut oil.

However, Niugini Organic Coconut Oil has a nice balance. Yes it still smells and taste like coconut, but it doesn’t drown the other flavours out. I’ve actually found the oil so nice I’ve started using it for oil pulling (you’re going to need to look that one up too as I’m not going into it here. 😉 )

I find I can use this particular coconut oil as a 1:1 ratio exchange with butter in recipes and so have really found using it as a dairy free replacement super easy. It’s organic, single origin and Fairtrade on top of this… How could I not love it so much?

As I live in the Adelaide Hills, I can keep this oil in to pantry without issues. It is a solid (if a little runny at times) form for most of the year, thought right now – during the height of summer – it looks more like an ocean seascape with a few solid oil icebergs floating in a sea of oil. It will solidify as the temperatures drop around here and it won’t have gone off. It’s just what it does. Rather artistic, no?

Truth is I didn’t even know it was a Fairtrade item until I was going through my pantry seeking inspiration as to what to review today. And, not only are Niugini Organics Fairtrade – they are who Fairtrade International approached to be a consultative partner when trying to figure out how best to decide on a uniform pricing for coconut farmers in their area of the world. Now that is Fairtrade with a gold star on top!

I love their website and strongly recommend you go check it out. They’ve spent a lot of time explaining who they are, what they do, the communities they work with and the approaches they take to ensure their impact to the environment around them isn’t as detrimental as other palm farming in that area of the world.

Would I recommend this item to others?

Yes I would. The quality of the product is excellent and I’m one of those who feel quality comes from those who make it. Treat your farmers and producers well – you get a quality product. When my friends ask which coconut oil I use, I recommend Niugini Organics every time.

Would I buy this item for myself?

Yes I would, in fact I made some fried chicken the other night (not an everyday meal here) and so have this coconut oil already down on my shopping list for next week. I mostly use it in baking, but do sometimes fry with it. I love it, use it and will keep seeking it as my preferred brand for as long as I can.

In summary: This is a great coconut oil. Doesn’t have the overpowering taste or smell some coconut oils can have. Doesn’t upset my stomach like other coconut oils have either. It’s organic, it’s Fairtrade, it’s amazing. Look for it on your Supermarket, health food store or fruit and veg shop shelves tomorrow!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

Fairtrade Friday Review – Big Tree Farms Amber Coconut Nectar.

Welcome to the New Year and a new segment to my reviewer blog – Fairtrade Friday!

So what is Fairtrade Friday? It’s where I find Fairtrade items and review them every Friday. Fairly easy to understand isn’t it? Basically I want to give a shout out to Fairtrade companies the world over as they are doing their best to make the world better for the farmers, producers and sellers of items. I also want to highlight how easy it is to shop and use Fairtrade items.

We are a single income family and don’t have the money to splash around on frivolous things. However, we are also a family with a big heart who want to try and help make the world a better place one tiny step at a time. We’re doing this in different ways. One is that we’re striving to become a zero waste household. Another is we try and shop and buy local as much as possible. And when we can’t buy something that is grown and made locally we strive for Fairtrade, sustainable, ethical and all round eco-friendly. You can do it too, and I hope my Fairtrade segment helps you realise how possible it is.

I feel I should explain what exactly Fairtrade is so that you know why I’m dedicating a whole Friday post to Fairtrade items. So here we go…

What does Fairtrade mean?

As I gather a lot of good information from Fairtrade Australia, here is how they explain it all:

“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”

The most basic explanation I can give of Fairtrade is where larger companies work with small companies in developing countries and pay them a decent amount of money for their goods, services and products. Meaning: if, in our country, it would cost $12 an hour to do something… the big companies pay the economical equivalent to people doing the same job in their developing country. What you need to understand is $12 here can be equal to $200 elsewhere… so they get equivalent rather than the exact same amount. Hopefully that makes sense?

And it isn’t all about pay. The bigger companies help set up the smaller companies in the developing countries to ensure they have better work environments, healthier/ safer conditions to work in, decent work hours and so on. Basically, Fairtrade is trying to ensure workers in developing countries get to work in the same safe, healthy environments we get to work in, they get to work decent hours and not horrendously long hours and they get paid exactly what their efforts are worth, not just a token few cents and left to toil in sweat shops and slave labour situations.

This is why Fairtrade is so important to me! It is my family’s way of supporting families in developing countries and saying – you deserve what we have! Think about it when you next go to buy something. Yes they Fairtrade item may cost just that little bit more… but when you consider where that money is going, it is the right choice.

Okay, onto the review!

And so here we go! Today’s Fairtrade Friday shout out goes to…

Big Tree Farms Amber Coconut Nectar.

4 out of 5 stars.

Why have I chosen this item? Because Big Tree Farms Amber Coconut Nectar is my current favourite sweetener and I use it nearly daily. During the colder months I use it to sweeten my breakfast porridge and during the hotter months it goes into my dairy frozen fruit smoothies. It adds an extra depth to my homemade granola and will blow your socks off when used to make a berry coulis to top my grain free, dairy free banana buckwheat pancakes… as shown here.

buckwheat panckes

Grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free banana buckwheat pancakes topped with a blueberry and strawberry coulis made with Big Tree Farms Amber Coconut Nectar and some Alpine gluten and dairy free coconut yoghurt.

Another plus is it comes in a glass bottle, rather than a plastic one. Plastic containers add a nasty and synthetic aftertaste to what is stored in them. If you’re used to that taste (you always use plastic) you might not notice it. But if you’ve become sensitive to such things like me (through health issues), you do notice the difference. And so the nectar being in glass not plastic is a huge bonus. There are other coconut products out there that come in plastic buckets – pass. Yes you may get more in the bucket and for cheaper… but saving a few cents by getting that nasty aftertaste is seriously not worth the effort… not for me anyhow. I have mentioned in other reviews I can be a bit of a diva. 😉

I will freely admit the no coconut nectar is as cheap as other sugars and sweeteners you can get at the shop, but that is because it takes a heck of a lot of effort to make coconut nectar in comparison to cane sugar or similar. The bottle you see here costs me around $9 from my local fruit and veg shop. But it does last me a month or so… depending on what I’m up to in the kitchen. And, seriously, when it comes to sugar, the cheaper it is, the nastier it is. Go figure.

If you would like to learn more about what exactly coconut nectar is, please check out a post I’ve done about it on My Thoughts on Food.

And why do I love Big Tree Farms Coconut Nectar so much?

Well, to be honest, it’s the only coconut nectar I’ve ever bought. I found it; I tried it, loved it and just keep using it. It is organic, Fairtrade (since 2014) and the profits of sale for this item go back to the 15,000 farms that Big Tree Farms work with globally. Add to that the sustainability, health benefits and ease of purchase… why would I try another brand?

There are other Big Tree Farm products out there, but for now it is their coconut nectar I adore.

I had asked them for an interview, which they agreed to and even gave me an email address to send my questions to. I sent said questions over a month ago in the hopes I could share my answers here today… sadly Big Tree Farms have not had the chance to get back to me so I can’t share that interview.

All the same their website does contain a lot of the same information – just without the personal touch I had been hoping for – so please go check them out for more information. You can buy their products directly from the site (prices are in US dollars) or you can seek them out in all good local stores near you. I am lucky enough to have a pretty switched on fruit and veggie shop near me called Mount Barker Fresh Markets and they sell an amazing array of local fresh produce, locally made products and healthy Fairtrade items. So giving them a big shout out too.

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. Seriously, this is an amazingly tasty sweetener. A little goes a long way and the benefits it brings goes beyond the health side of things and stretch into the greater community called the world. Organic, Fairtrade, healthy and tasty – how can you beat that?

Would I buy this product for myself again?

Yes. A very big yes. I’ve actually stopped buying maple syrup as this coconut nectar suits me so well in my healthy eating habits. Just remember to keep it in the fridge in the hotter months – just like maple syrup – or it will go mouldy. I’ve, sadly, learnt that the hard way.

In summary – despite not getting the agreed to interview from Big Tree Farms, their heart is in the right place as they are supporting over 15,000 farms in developing countries to make a product that not only helps the farmers, but helps those who eat it by being a healthier alternative to other sweeteners out there. It tastes great, is very versatile and is affordable for what it is. I could not recommend this product more than I am already. Go get some for your pancakes today!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO