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Autumn Deliciousness from The Woodland Orchards

Hello there!

A wonderful bright autumn welcome to The Woodland Orchards first blog post. We love to share our passion, recipes, information about our favourite ingredients and materials with you, and shine a big loving light, each month, on one of the charities we care passionately for.

This autumn we've packed the deliciousness to the rafters, including:

~ Gorgeous Autumnal Recipes ~

~ Invitation and 15% off for December’s Exciting Natural Skincare Workshop - Body~

~ A fabulous £20 West Elm voucher competition ~

~ Superstar Ingredient of the month ~

~ Highlight on London Wildlife Trust ~

Gorgeous Autumnal Recipes that'll feel like a little of this welcome autumn sun is beaming from your plate, using seasonal ingredients and bursting with flavour, texture, warmth, antioxidants, minerals and essential vitamins!

~ Warm butternut squash & fig salad with sprouts


1 medium butternut squash

1 medium cauliflower

2 beetroots

2 carrots

1 1/2 red onions

1 bulb of garlic

5 handfuls of kale

A pinch of salt

50g hazelnuts (halved)

4 figs

5ml apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

Sprouted sunflower and broccoli seeds

Dressing (optional)

1 tsp mustard

25ml cold pressed hemp oil

1 tbsp raw tahini

Teaspoon of coconut palm sugar or 1/2 tbsp yacon syrup

Salt and black pepper

1 garlic clove, grated

Juice of ½ lemon

Method/The Creative Fun

  1. Wash and tear the kale before massaging in a pinch of salt, cider vinegar and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Leave aside, ready to place your root vegetables and other salad ingredients on top

  2. Cube the butternut squash, cauliflower, beetroot, carrot, red onion. Coat the cubed root vegatables and garlic bulb (leaving it whole with skin left on) in salt and olive oil. Bake for 30 mins on 180C or until tender but not too soft

  3. Once the root vegetables are baked place them on the massaged kale (making sure to remove the garlic skin) and scatter on halved hazelnuts, raw sunflower and broccoli sprouts and quartered figs (if figs are not in season you can use sliced pear)

  4. Create the tahini hemp dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together and drizzle over the salad before serving.

(a bit of) Theory as we believe {‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’}

~Garlic contains selenium and sulfur, which are wonderful for the skin. It is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and so supports the immune system. If that wasn’t enough it also has beneficial action on the cardiovascular system!

~Tahini is a great source of calcium, especially in vegan diets. It’s also full of vitamin E and B vitamins, and is high in unsaturated (good) fat. It is also a good source of plant protein.

~Hemp oil is packed full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants- vitamins E and beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A). It’s great for glowing skin and strengthened immunity too.

~ Spiced pear, plum and almond cake


150g Gluten-free self-raising flour 100g ground almond

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon ginger powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

150g vegan spread or sunflower oil 150g unrefined brown sugar/xylitol/coconut palm sugar 2 tablespoons finely ground flax seeds

6 tablespoons of water 2 plums, stoned and sliced into thin wedges

1 apple, cored and sliced in to thin wedges

1 pear, cored and sliced in to thin wedges

Topping (optional) 5 tbsp homemade date butter paste (8 dates, 20ml water, 1 tbsp coconut butter and a few drops of vanilla) Lightly toasted flaked almonds, for scattering

Method/The Creative Fun

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line with baking parchment an 18cm cake tin.

  2. Melt the vegan spread until slightly softened

  3. Stir and whip in the brown sugar, xylitol or coconut palm sugar for 3 minutes

  4. Separately make the vegan ‘egg’ by mixing the ground flax seeds into 6 tablespoons of water to make a paste

  5. Add the gluten-free flour, ground almonds, vegan ‘egg’ mix, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla essence to the sugar and butter mix

  6. Layer a third of the mixture on the bottom of the greased and lined cake tin

  7. Layer some of the fruit wedges sparingly and cover in more mixture. Repeat the layering and finish with cake mixture

  8. Bake in the oven, at 180°C (in a fan assisted oven) for 35 minutes until the cake has risen and is golden brown on top. Insert a skewer or knife into the middle of the cake to ensure it is done (if it comes out clean it’s done). It will naturally retain some moisture due to the fruit content

  9. Optionally adorn your cake with date butter paste (made of dates, coconut butter, vanilla extract and a little water, sieved and brushed over the cake) before sprinkling almonds on top

(a bit of) Theory

~Cinnamon is great for helping regulating blood sugar through its action on insulin, good for women’s hormonal balance and helps tackle oxidants from, for instance, stress, pollution or metabolism.

~Ginger is a warming spice that helps sooth the stomach and helps circulation. It’s also great in a morning wake-up shot with a little fresh pressed apple and lemon juice.

~ Seasonal, comforting & healthy root veg chips


2 beetroots 2 medium sweet potatoes 1 medium sized mooli (Asian radish) or celeriac 2 large carrots 2 cloves garlic 2 tbsp coconut oil

½ teaspoon cumin

1 pinch turmeric (with a spoon or gloves on, as it temporarily stains skin!)

1 pinch of paprika 2 pinches pink Himalayan sea salt

Method/The Creative Fun

  1. Cut the beetroot, sweet potato, celeriac (or mooli) and carrots in to batons

  2. Coat with the minced garlic, coconut oil, cumin, turmeric, paprika and pink Himalayan sea salt paste

  3. Bake for 30 mins on 180C until slightly golden brown, but never darker. Voila, healthy winter chips.

(a bit of) Theory

~Turmeric is a golden spice that is a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps to lower cholesterol.

~Coconut oil is great for cooking and has a high smoking point, so can also be used in roasting without the flavour and structure changing. This oil is high in vitamin E and antioxidants.


• Invitation and 15% off code to December’s Exciting Body Natural Skincare Workshop. We’re giving you a yummy 15% off when you book Natural Skincare Workshops or Courses before December 10th 2015!

Here’s your pressie code: TWOlovesyouDec. Book Your Place Here.

You will be gently guided through the exciting and easy to follow workshop to make 4 wonderful products, plus a bonus for extra special occasions treat yourself with, just because you deserve it.

You’ll be making:

1. Restorative Frankincense Body Lotion

2. Buffing Coconut and Brown Sugar Body Scrub

3. Effervescent Vanilla & Cocoa Bath Truffles

4. Luxurious Body and Massage Oil

And the *Bonus Product*

5. Shimmering Spiced Body Butter

What better way to get ready for the festive season, make presents or just have a well-earned fun break from xmas shopping!


A fabulous competition to win £20 of West Elm vouchers. West Elm's beautiful homewares and ethical work with artisans makes them a firm favourite of The Woodland Orchards. Just answer the following 4 questions and either send your answers to us through the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page or email ‘’ for your chance to win £20 worth of vouchers to spend on contemporary and fresh kitchenware, bedding, bathroom essentials or anything else in their range that takes your fancy.

~ Q1. What is your favourite picture from our homepage slideshow? (Hint ~ Have a look on our Home page)

~ Q2. How many workshops all together are we currently offering? (Hint ~ it’s on our Workshops page)

~ Q3. Other than holding fantastically fun workshops for you, what else do we do? (Hint ~ it’s on the About Us: Our Philosophy page)

~ Q4. Where was our first half day workshop on Saturday 29th August? (Hint ~ it’s on Our Facebook page)

~ BONUS ~ Like our page (The Woodland Orchards) on Facebook for 2 entries into our next competition!


Superstar Ingredient and Material of the month – This is the inspiration for our (soon-to-launch) logo. The flax plant that gives us the super flax seed, flax oil and flax fibre that nourishes us from the inside out in food, or from the outside in via our skincare products for glowing radiance. And as if that wasn’t wonderful enough it also provides the cool, crisp natural fibre linen! Now that’s definitely a plant to be celebrated!

Here’s why we love it

~ Flax to Eat: these brown or golden seeds are high in essential fatty acids, especially omega 3 (also known as ALA) and lignans which have an anti-inflammatory effect. The fibre in the whole seeds makes them great for bowel health as well. They can be baked with, as they are stable under oven temperatures and are best eaten as whole rather than milled seeds, as they lose some of their nutrients once ground. We love them as substitute ‘eggs’ in our vegan baking!

~ Flax in Natural Skincare: Flax oil is deliciously rich and emolliating (meaning it helps smooth, soften and moisturise the skin). It is beneficial for use on dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used as a dry scalp or intensive moisturising treatment.

~ Flax for Linen Fibre: The dainty and pretty blue flowers of the flax plant are no clue to the tough resilience of the fibres in the plant’s stem that make the cool, absorbent and crisp summer (and warm winter) fabric we at The Woodland Orchards love working with. The coarse fibres (from the water carrying tubes in the stem) of the flax plant are processed to make linen fibres that then make differing weights and textures of fabric. This tough and versatile fabric has been used for generations, as it’s apparently one of the oldest plants intentionally grown for human use!

From clothing, household furnishings, decorative uses and industrial products, linen is a superstar of the natural fabric world.


Highlight on London Wildlife Trust who we love!

They do beautiful work with others and our natural urban environment. We are proud to give a percentage of December’s workshop profits to The London Wildlife Trust (LWT), as their work with local city schools, people with learning disabilities, with local community spaces, work cleaning up and looking after parts of Regents Canal and other public nature reserves helps keep London biodiverse, green and healthy for us all.

For a year The Woodland Orchards founder Karen had the great pleasure of volunteering for The London Wildlife Trust, at one of its hidden gems nestled in King’s Cross’ new development area, as a volunteer leader, teaching children about urban horticulture and conservation. It was also here that Karen started delivering workshops teaching natural skincare made from herbal extracts and essential oils.

Amongst their current campaigns, research and projects is ‘The Garden for a Living London’ campaign to turn London’s 3 million gardens into a linked ecosystem. Our gardens aren’t just for that one sunny week in summer; they help mitigate the effects of climate change, help prevent flooding by absorbing water after rain and are home to our bug friends (including those that pollinate, creating vital foods for us)!

Be part of this change! Please do check out their site for great and simple gardening tips at


In our winter body Natural Skincare Workshop you’ll make nourishing and luxurious products for yourself or packaged and ready to give as gifts. So remember to book your place at December’s Workshop now and get even more off as a newsletter subscriber. Use your 15% off code: TWOlovesyouDec, by 10th December.

Book Your Workshop here!

Happy Autumn!

The Woodland Orchards xx

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