5 mins with…Ms. Nikki

We have a great staff here at Loose Produce and the lovely Nikki is no exception. If you’re ever in store and you need to know a thing or two about anything relating to food and what it is or ISN’T doing for your body, Nikki is the gal to see. Nikki has been here so long she is part of the furniture, so like a dust cloth she has picked up a lot of stuff on the way. Here’s what she had to tell us…
1) What does Loose Produce mean to you? 12 years of work, food, education, friends, passion, family, etc. etc.
2) Product of the day? Pukka 3 ginger tea, love it nearly as much as I love coffee.
3) My perfect day includes coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
4) Cat or Dog? Dog & cat, mostly dog. Weasel 12 years – 3 countries, Crosby 14 years 1 country, hard to choose!  
5) Tea or coffee? coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 
6) Three words to describe Loose Produce. Lots of work!!  (But I love it)
7) Sometimes I wish I was a child again & have someone do everything for you. 
8) My favourite thing to cook is sausage surprise, chicken surprise, anything surprise. Those meals that use up all odds & ends & surprise, you may get sausage, chicken or anything!!!!!
9) When I’m at work you can ask me about anything, I will try my best to help. 
10) If i had a super power it would be invisibility, sometimes I need to do some work!!!!!

Gut Health 101

Gut Health 101

Did you know that the number of bacteria cells in our body outnumber our human cells 7 to 1? Woah!

Our internal micro biome (or gut) is a beautiful, yet sensitive ecosystem made up of our good and our bad bugs. And we need both, just in the correct ratios. This delicate balance can be disrupted by outside influences such as processed foods, stress and toxins.

Your gut flora can always benefit from a lil top up and probiotics are amazing for this.  Cultivating your gut flora with natural food sources is the best way. Here are 7 tips to get you on your way to a happy and healthy gut!

  • Eat whole foods
  • Introduce fermented foods into your diet such as sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Decrease intestinal irritants such as caffeine and processed foods
  • Limit sugar intake (fructose AND glucose)
  • Destress with yoga or meditation
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Including a probiotic supplement in your diet will help to build and maintain your healthy gut flora. We stock Probiotic Foods currently in store

Thanks goes to Kirsten Swales from Urban Remedies for the interesting info on gut health! Kirsten is a naturopath and a yoga instructor.

Almond Milk: the facts

almond milk

We’ve just started selling FRESHLY made Almond Milk available on Saturday mornings in store for $8/litre. The only thing we’re putting in our milk is almonds, filtered water and rice syrup. Which got us thinking about all the other almond milk varieties that are available out there and the nasties that can be hidden in them, emulsifiers being one of them.

So what are emulsifiers? In short, it’s an additive to make otherwise unmixable ingredients, blend together. Why is it bad? Some research suggests it causes a whole range of different digestive problems. We think your best bet is to either make your almond milk or purchase a reputable brand. For the full list of additives that are added here in Australia, check out this list here.

If you’re keen on having a go at making it yourself, have a look at our DIY Almond Milk recipe without the crap. The only thing you will possibly need that you might not have is a Nut Milk Bag which are available in store. We’re also stocking Nutty Bruce Organic Activated Almond Milk if you prefer something out of a carton. Find it in the fridge. PLUS we’re also doing almond and coconut milk coffees available daily from 730am!


Guilt-Free Spring Cleaning Guide


Cleaning your house for spring is a time-honoured tradition and one which makes me feel slightly guilty every year. Have I been harbouring nasties in these dusty corners all Winter? Was the little patch of mould between the tiles under the bathroom cabinet the real origin of the cold-weather lurgies? The least I can do is get into every nook and cranny without doing any further harm to our health without toxic chemicals! Here is a GUILT FREE SPRING CLEANING guide, to give you back your righteous godliness.

NB: Nature’s chemicals can still be toxic, so use the same precautions as you would with manufactured cleaning products.

Cleaning Product


Nature’s Substitute


Surface Spray 2 parts water, 1 part white vinegar, 12 drops of essential oil (citrus and tea-tree are best) more… 
Scrubbing Powder For delicate surfaces such as stove-tops or refrigerator shelves, baking soda on a damp cloth will make a gentle scrub. Rinse cloth thoroughly and clean off residue. Add a few drops of anti-bacterial essential oils to your clean sponge or cloth for anti-bacterial preotection AND a great smelling fridge!
Toilet Cleaner Mixing a 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar will react quite dynamically, so be sure to use a large-ish bucket . Pour into the hand basin or toilet and let it sit for a few minutes. Adding some anti-bacterial essential oils to your brush, sponge or cloth will take out any germs when you wipe it down.
Carpet Go half water, half white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on your carpet stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Sponge off with warm soapy water. If you’ve got something greasy to get out of your floor fibres, sprinkle some cornflour on the area. The cornflour will literally “mop-up” the grease as you let it sit for half an hour. Vaccuum as normal.
Bathroom Mold Cleaner 1/3 cup of Household grade Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) with 2/3 cup of water will have your spray bottle packed with punch. Spray onto affected area and give it a good hour before rinsing off.
Cutting Board Cleaner Get that lovely lemon from your neighbourhood tree and rub a wedge into the board. If it’s really been a while cover it in juice and let it sit (out in direct sun is even better) for 10 mins. Rinse in hot water and dry well.
Drain Cleaner  ½ salt in 4L water, bring to about 80°C and pour down the drain. If you need something to break down fatty or greasy drain blockages, pour ½ cup baking sode, then ½ cup vinegar down there. After 15-20 mins pour near boiling water down there to flush out the residue. Interesting fact The chemical reaction between baking soda, vinegar and fats will make a kind of soap, turning your clog into cleaner!
Windows 2 tsp white vinegar 1L warm water. Spray on glass and use crumpled up (b+w) newspaper to polish off. TIP: Giving the glass a quick rub down with a dry cloth before spraying will remove excess dirt first.

Diffusing Essential Oils in your home can also help with air-borne nasties. Be sure your essential oils are Certified Pure. Thankfully there are many companies out there providing us with such wonderful tools to stay uplifted and healthy in our homes and bodies!

11 Hot Solutions for Using Your Coffee Grounds

Coffee Solutions

If you love coffee then you’ve done away with instant years ago and invested in a fresh roast method. Having improved your life (by a trillion times), it’s now just a matter of what to do with those grounds!

Around-the-Home Brew

  1. Wake up and smell the coffee

Coffee Smells Great. Place a small open container in your fridge or freezer to absorb smells.

  1. Be abrasive

Grounds are naturally abrasive, so using them as a scrub to remove heavy-duty grease build up is a neat way to clean green. Get those barbecues ready for summer!

Coffee Bean Garden Buzz

  1. Acid lovin’ friends

Azaleas, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, camellias, roses and other acid loving plants will benefit from the nitrogen and potassium in your spent coffee grounds. By adding a little lime or wood ash to the mix, you’ll have a complete fertilizer.

  1. Go to ground.

Introducing coffee grounds to your compost heap will add nitrogen to your compost, an important nutrient to help your composting microbes thrive. not too much though, they can get out of hand! (Get some cool compost balance tips here.)

  1. Pest Control

Sprinkle grounds around the base of your plants to deter small pests like ants, slugs and snails. Mixing with orange peel or rosmary oil is even said to deter cats and other small mammals!

The Bean of Natural Beauty

  1. Percolate and exfoliate

Coffee grounds are a fabulous exfoliant for your skin. Mix a few teaspoons into a dollop of your favourite body lotion for a magnificent foot scrub. Wipe off and reveal fresh feeling (and smelling) feet.

  1. Awaken your skin

Caffeine is absorbed through the skin and is used in many commercial beauty treatments. Create your own rejuvenating facial by mixing grounds with a few dollops of firm coconut cream and a tablespoon of honey for an all-natural alpha-hydroxy and antioxidant home facial.

  1. Hair and scalp often collects residual build up from hair care products. Massage a handful of grounds into dry hair, paying particular attention to the scalp, shake out and shampoo as normal. You may want to perform this exercise in the warm afternoon sun to keep escaped grounds outdoors.

Get Crafty

  1. Vintage Dyeing

Resoak your grounds in water to give you a dye which can turn your tired white blouse or shirt to a golden vintage.

  1. Century Paper

Use some coffee grounds in half a cup of water to create the essential aged look for your lost letter or treasure map. Dip the paper through the solution. Lay flat and sprinkle a few wet grounds on a corner or two. The speckled areas give it a nice variation and add to its yesteryear look.

  1. Burning the candle at both ends

Make your own candles with the energizing aroma of a fresh brew by adding grounds. A great way to upcycle your burned down candle ends as well as creating a funky scented décor item. Be sure you have a length of wick. Melt your candle ends in a small saucepan over low heat, Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of grounds into an old martini glass or other wide mouthed vessel. Pour in the melted wax in slowly and place the wick into the centre of your speakeasy-meets-café candle.

Whatever you decide to do with those delicious-smelling, nutritionally rich grounds – DON’T put them down the sink. Coffee grounds are not good for your plumbing or our water-ways. As you can see, there are plenty of fun, and practical, ways to ensure your grounds’ disposal serves you up with another delicious solution.

We serve locally roasted, fair trade Backyard Coffee at Loose Produce.

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