Liqueur Mini Bottles

liqueur mini bottles

At Wares of Knutsford we’ve noticed that our customers have been using our mini liqueur bottles for all sorts of things apart from liqueurs!

Uses for liqueur mini bottles

First of all, of course, you can use our liqueur mini bottles for liqueurs. Whether you are making them for personal use, to give as gifts or to sell, you are sure to be able to find an appropriate bottle among our huge range. There are classic whiskey bottle shapes and fancy, decorative bottles, all available in packs of six, 12, 24 or 36.

Our small bottle selection is also popular with those making wedding favours, to hold essential oils, craft supplies or small quantities of ingredients. They are great for sample sizes of cosmetics and aromatherapy products too.

Bottles are available in clear, blue, amber and green glass, with 5ml smallest size in the range. A number of different caps are offered including screw tops, corks, droppers or swing stoppers.

Recipes for liqueur mini bottles

If you have a winter wedding coming up or simply fancy spreading a little colour, try some jewel coloured liqueur in mini bottles – it’s cute, cheerful and warming on a cold day!

Blackberry vodka liqueur

If you still have some frozen blackberries left in the freezer and are all jammed out, this delicious, deep purple hued liqueur is a very adult way to use them. Quantities given make about a litre.

  • 750ml good quality vodka
  • 450g blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 250ml water

Heat the sugar with the water gently until completely dissolved, then leave the mixture to cool.

Add the vodka, fruit and sugar syrup to a large container, trying to avoid crushing the berries. Seal and allow to infuse for at least a couple of weeks. Stir carefully every few days. Strain the mixture through a fine muslin cloth into your mini liqueur bottles and store in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks before using.

Damson Gin

This plummy liqueur has a sweet and sour flavour that works beautifully with hard, full flavoured cheeses such as a sharp cheddar.

  • 450g damsons, skins pricked
  • 225g sugar
  • 700ml good quality gin

Add all the ingredients to a large, wide necked jar, seal and shake gently to help the sugar dissolve. Store in a cool, dark place for 8-12 weeks, turning the bottle every few days. Strain into your liqueur mini bottles.

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The Best Way of Preserving Fruit and Veg Left Overs

preserving fruit and veg

There are plenty of reasons for preserving fruit and veg. You may have got a good deal at the supermarket that you’re unable to use all at once or your own harvest may have been more successful than you predicted, for example. However there’s no need for waste as preserving not only means you have fruit and vegetables available at different times of the year when they might not be in season and allows you to sample familiar foods with a different taste and texture. Learn how to preserve left over vegetables this winter to save money and get more creative with your cooking.

Preserving fruit and veg in the freezer

If you have room in your freezer, this is usually the simplest way to preserve. Berries and cherries respond well to freezing and can often be used still frozen, such as for smoothies or baking. Harder fruits such as apples and pears tend to work best if stewed before freezing.

Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips and squash are also easily frozen, simply blanch them first. The same technique can be used for peas, cauliflowers, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and legumes. Leeks, spinach, aubergines and courgettes can be cooked before freezing. Vegetables cooked into soups, stews or ratatouille also freeze well, while frozen tomato sauce can be a lifesaver on numerous occasions! You can even freeze fresh herbs for a better result than dried.

Freezing is an efficient method of preserving ripe or slightly overripe produce and the results are best eaten within three months of freezing.

Preserving fruit and veg by pickling

Pickling is how to preserve left over vegetables creatively. You can go for a simple vinegar or brine or you can spice up your pickling mixture. You can pickle vegetables separately or in a mixture and use them in salads, sandwiches and with cold meats – they’re also great just for picking at and much healthier than crisps! All you need is a good supply of ingredients, a pan and some clean, sterilised jars.

Pickling is essentially the process of using a salt and/or vinegar mixture to prevent the growth of bacteria. Not only vegetables but also some fruits can be pickled, but the process works best for produce that is mature but not overripe. Like freezing, most pickled produce is best eaten within three to six months.

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How to Make Sugar Free Marmalade

make sugar free marmalade

Life can be harsh for diabetics – there’s so much sweetness that is denied to them. Fortunately however, marmalade doesn’t have to be one of them. Even more fun than just eating it you can make sugar free marmalade yourself! Oranges, clementines, mandarins, tangerines etc. are all in season now, so make the most of lower prices with a batch of home made, low or no sugar marmalade.

Make sugar free marmalade for diabetics

You will need:

  • 5-6 mandarins, peeled
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 6-7 tablespoons sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons gelatine

Add the peel to a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, strain and repeat. You do this to remove some of the bitterness which in ordinary marmalade is relieved by adding the fruit. In this case, as we use only the peel, boil and strain the peel three times and allow to cool.

Once you can handle the peel, finely chop it according to how chunky you like your marmalade. Return to the pan and again add enough water to cover the peel. Bring to the boil then add the sweetener and lemon juice, stir and reduce the heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile dissolve your gelatine powder in a couple of tablespoons of cold water.

When the peel has softened, remove the pan from the heat and once the mixture has stopped bubbling, stir in the gelatine. Decant the mixture into clean, sterilised jars and seal while still warm.

Make sugar free marmalade for Dukan and other low sugar diets

This marmalade is also suitable for those following the Dukan diet and is great served upon Dukan bread or toast, or for Paleo dieters. In fact making marmalade or jam without sugar is healthy for anyone trying to improve their blood sugar content.

In fact you can make a number of sugary preserves such as jams and marmalades without adding sugar, once you get the hang of natural sweeteners. Honey, Stevia or a number of other brand sweeteners can be used instead of traditional sugar, and you will also need a sugar free pectin or, as in this recipe, gelatine to make the mixture set. If you find the end result lacks colour or flavour slightly, try adding a bit of lime or lemon juice, which works particularly well with black and blueberries, or cinnamon for stoned fruits such as apricots.

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Choosing the Best Slow Cooker for You

the best slow cooker

A slow cooker can be a life saver for busy people who still want to eat a healthy and hearty meal at the end of the day. If you don’t get home from work until late, no problem – your slow cooker will have helpfully prepared a nourishing dinner for you through the day.

Originally designed to help cooks observe the Sabbath while still preparing a meal for their family, the principle of slow cooking is very simple and each model works in much the same way. The idea is that you can throw some ingredients in the pot in the morning and return home to a delicious and nutritious meal hours later. However when buying your slow cooker the choice of models on the market can be bewildering so you have to decide when buying your slow cooker how you will use it.

The best slow cooker for complex recipes

Today the best slow cooker will offer clever digital controls with features such as timers which work with temperature controls. Essentially, the more dials and displays you see on the front of a cooker, the more control options you will have. If you want something a little more sophisticated than a turn it on and leave it stew cooker then you are likely to find these features helpful, however in many cases they go unused. For many people the simplicity of the slow cooking experience is what appeals, so consider if you really need these features before splashing out on a more expensive model.

The best slow cooker for busy families

If your priority is to get a large, filling meal on the table with a minimum of fuss, you need to look for something with a large capacity. Complicated controls may be redundant but a large pot is essential. Similarly you will probably be more interested in easy cleaning than complex cooking programmes.

On the other hand, if there are just two of you or even if you are cooking for one, slow cookers can still be useful but you will probably be better off with a more compact model – they take up less space and are designed to work well with a smaller quantity of ingredients.

To get the most out of any slow cooker you will need to experiment with different recipes and temperature settings. You don’t have to be restricted to basic stews and casseroles either – your slow cooker is great for curries, soups, cooking meat and even for desserts such as cakes, creme caramels or rice pudding, as the pot functions as an excellent water bath. Believe it or not it is excellent for making jam too.

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Wholesale Cosmetic Containers

wholesale cosmetic containers

It’s the time of year when resolutions are being made and broken. Among the traditional lose weight, get fit, spend more time with the children, a number of people will be planning to make something of their small business idea. If you believe you can turn your home made cosmetics into a professional success, Wares of Knutsford can help you as a cosmetic container supplier.

Choosing wholesale cosmetic containers

Unfortunately success in business is not only about the product. It’s all about the presentation and the marketing. You have to make people want to buy your product and packaging is one of your most important marketing tools. Wares of Knutsford’s aromatherapy and pharmacy bottles will show off your home made products to the their best advantage. Available in clear, blue, green and amber glass or plastic and with a choice of caps, they will make your products look professional and elegant.

When ordering your bottles, don’t forget to think about labelling as this is an important part of your presentation both aesthetically and in legal terms. Wares of Knutsford offers a range of attractive labels which you can order at the same time.

The wholesale cosmetic containers range

Sizes range from a tiny 5ml bottle to one litre with screw caps and droppers, plus a 100ml perfume spray bottle. Various pack sizes are available and as usual with Wares of Knutsford, the more you buy the cheaper they get. Smaller sized bottles are ideal for aromatherapy blends or for offering samples for customers to try, while larger bottles are available in traditional lotion or medicine bottle shapes.

Plastic cosmetic bottles

Wares of Knutsford also offers a range of cosmetics bottles in clear plastic in 50ml, 100ml, 150ml, 200ml and 500ml sizes with white press caps, plus a 250ml size with a white flip cap. Pack sizes are 6, 12, 24 and 36.

Buying from Wares of Knutsford

If you are starting a business, Wares of Knutsford can help you with your wholesale cosmetic containers supply. Buying in bulk allows you to make savings, with wholesale prices available to those buying in pallet sized quantities. Individuals and registered businesses can take advantage of wholesale terms and pallets can be made up of mixed jars and bottles in box quantities.

If you’re not quite ready for such a large order, Wares of Knutsford’s bulk buy deals offer great value for money and convenience. Bulk buy packs contain 192 bottles or jars and are supplied at Wares of Knutsford’s usual flat postage rate.

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Glass Jar Suppliers UK

glass jar suppliers

At Wares of Knutsford we pride ourselves on being one of the best glass jar suppliers online. We try to offer the widest range coupled with the most affordable prices, quick and efficient delivery and helpful and friendly customer service. If you are looking for suppliers of glass jars, take a look at our range and prices – we believe you won’t find better value elsewhere.

Bargain pack glass jar suppliers

Our bargain packs are incredibly popular with enthusiastic preservers, crafters and even businesses. With a flat delivery fee you can order as much as you like without worrying about how much postage and packing will cost. Our bargain packs include 192 jars plus lids in a number of different models. There are basic jam jars plus more decorative models in square or hexagonal shapes, plus more unusual products such as special honey jars, Bonne Maman style jars, verrine jars plus mini jam or spice jars and mini clip top globe shaped jars – there’s even a bargain pack of miniature whiskey bottles!

If you are making cosmetics rather than food products, you will also find cosmetics jars in clear or amber glass among our selection of bulk buy bargain packs.

Glass jar suppliers with the widest range

If you don’t need huge quantities but you are looking for a variety or for a particular style of jar, we believe that at Wares of Knutsford we offer the widest range of different models on the internet. Along with standard jam and other food jars, we also stock a broad selection of larger jars from the Kilner, Mason and Leifheit ranges.

There’s also a great selection for sauces and pickles, plus a plastic jars range for easy transportation and safety.

The sweet shop jars range is ideal for creating that traditional sweet shop vibe but is also suitable for storing all sorts of other goods, but if you’re looking for something really special, the decorated jars and jam pots range has some very fancy options.

Wholesale glass jar suppliers

If you are buying on a larger scale, such as for a business, we are pleased to be able to supply our jars and bottles in pallet quantities. Wholesale prices are available for orders with a minimum value of £450.00 and are supplied in boxed quantities for easy packaging and delivery purposes. Just contact our helpful and friendly staff for more details on terms and conditions.

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Plastic Food Buckets for Sale

plastic food buckets

If you’re serious about preserving, it helps to have a bit of useful equipment. When you are preparing preserves or home brew on a large scale, life is made easier with a few buckets for preserving, jerry cans or preserving pans. Wares of Knutsford can supply plastic buckets, jerry cans, maslin pans and even demijohns.

Plastic food buckets at Wares of Knutsford

Wares of Knutsford’s range of plastic food buckets for preserving is simple and no nonsense. Buckets are of plain white plastic with lid and handle. They are sold individually in sizes of one litre, 2.75 litres and five litres. They are a no-frills product – easy to clean, easy to label and easy to handle.

With a tight fitting lid they are useful not only for large scale preserving but also for storing any kinds of liquid or dried goods. If you have a large family, entertain often or are a serious bargain hunter, buying goods on a large scale is both convenient and cost effective, but quite often storage can be an issue. Our round plastic buckets are stackable and will allow you to store large amounts of items safely, air tight and labelled so you can see what’s what.

Liquids such as sauces can also be cumbersome to store, but Wares of Knutsford can supply some convenient plastic jerry cans in one litre, 2.5 litre and five litre sizes, with a ridged plastic screw cap. The cans are sold individually and, like the food buckets, are of plain plastic so they are easy to clean, easy to label and easy to handle. They are ideal for storing and dispensing sauces and liquids of all sorts.

Once you’ve eaten the contents, the plastic buckets and jerry cans make excellent storage in garages and store rooms for children’s toys, tools, camping and fishing equipment or crafting supplies!

Using plastic food buckets for preserving

If you are making pickles on a large scale, you’ll need some large containers to store them in. Plastic food buckets are ideal as they can be made airtight with a tight fitting lid. You can use these buckets for making sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, beetroots, peppers, corn cobs or other vegetables, preserving olives, lemons and other fruits or for home brewing. Before using your buckets for any kind of food, make sure they are clean with a hot, soapy water wash and then sterilised. Avoid using bleach on the plastic.

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Wholesale Plastic Jars

wholesale plastic jars

There are a number of steps you can take to streamline your small business this year, such as setting up efficient supply chains. Wares of Knutsford can help you with this. If your business is producing food or cosmetics, Wares of Knutsford offers glass and plastic jars wholesale, plus a wide range of bottles and other kitchen equipment.

The wholesale plastic jars range

Wares of Knutsford’s plastic jars range includes models suitable from small ingredients storage and larger models with display presence. Plastic versions can be found of most of our glass jars, such as round, clear cosmetics jars, clip top jars and Victorian style jars with a domed lid.

Plastic jars are a safer option than glass in a number of cases but they can look as good. High quality PET plastic is sturdy but light, so it’s easy to transport and clean. At Wares of Knutsford you can choose wholesale plastic jars with various styles and colours of screw on lid, and shapes including round, square and spherical jars which can sit on their sides for a traditional sweet shop feel and easy access.

Sizes include small, 200ml jars going right up to 4430ml super sized jars and various different pack sizes are available. There are plastic jars available for all sorts of storage needs, whether you simply want to organise your kitchen or are setting up a sweet shop or craft shop.

Wholesale plastic jars buying terms

At Wares of Knutsford we welcome business clients and private customers. Whether you are simply an enthusiastic home cook or crafter, are buying with friends to take advantage of economies of scale, are trying to turn your hobby into a commercial venture or are a well established business, we can offer you wholesale prices.

To qualify there is a minimum order value of £450, with shipping quoted on a per order basis and priced by the pallet. Your pallet(s) can be comprised of any mixture of Wares products, which are supplied in box quantities for easy packaging.

Contact our friendly and helpful staff to discuss your wholesale requirements and to receive a wholesale price list. Once an order is placed you will receive a pro-forma invoice and orders will be dispatched upon receipt of payment.

If you are not quite ready to place such a large order, you can still find a good deal with our bulk buy bargain packs, each containing 192 jars or bottles plus lids. These are sent at our usual flat postage rate which makes them great value for money.

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Spice Storage Solutions

spice storage

Even the most organised domestic goddess (or god!) can struggle with efficient kitchen storage at times. One flashpoint for kitchen tidiness is finding a way of storing spices. Most people end up with a range of herbs and spices in bottles of different sizes and shapes which, if you’re lucky, will fit into a spice rack but lag way behind when it comes to looking neat, tidy and efficient.

The basics of spice storage

Storing spices neatly is not only an aesthetic concern – it can save you time and stress in the kitchen if you are in mid-recipe and can easily lay your hand upon the appropriate herb or spice for the job. The easiest way to achieve this is with a uniform rack or drawer of bottles in clear glass with easy access lids and obvious labelling. Like this you will also easily be able to see which herbs and spices are running low and need replacing.

For some people the best method of spice storage is via a rack on the wall or in a cupboard, in a tray or laid out in a drawer – these days you can buy some very helpful drawer inserts to help with this. Once you have found the appropriate place in your kitchen, work out how many herbs and spices you use on a regular basis then get a set of jars to account for each, plus a few spares. The key to neatness then is clear, simple labelling. If all your bottles look the same and are efficiently labelled, you are less likely to get confused by messy packaging and accidentally use chilli powder when what you really wanted was cinnamon!

Spice storage solutions at Wares of Knutsford

Wares of Knutsford can supply spice jars in a range of shapes and sizes, plus a 20 piece spice jar set and a magnetic storage rack.

You can choose between round, square or hexagonal jars, according to which best fits your chosen storage method. There are various different choices of lid, such as simple screw tops, glass knob stoppers or clip tops in different colours. These can be helpful to colour code so that you can use orange for spices and green for herbs, for example. You can also choose between shaker and grinder lids. Various pack sizes make buying economical and as usual, Wares charges a flat postage rate no matter how much you order.

Once you have chosen your jars, don’t forget to add some labels to go with them!

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How to pickle beetroot in malt vinegar

beetroot in malt vinegar

You don’t always need special pickling vinegar when preserving – in fact quite often good old malt vinegar will do the job very well. Pickling beetroot in malt vinegar makes the most of your harvest and tastes great with salads or in sandwiches all year round.

Pickled beetroot in malt vinegar recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg fresh beetroot
  • 2.5cm of cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 litre distilled malt vinegar

Prepare the spiced vinegar the day before by adding the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, mustard seeds, allspice, bay leaves and sugar into a pan with 300ml of the vinegar. Heat gently until the mixture comes to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool, covered, overnight.

The next day wash the beetroot carefully to avoid rubbing away any skin. Place the beets into a large saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 1-2 hours, until they start to become tender. Drain and allow to cool until you can handle them. The rest of the vinegar can now be added to the spiced mixture you made the day before.

Rub away the skin of the beetroot and cut the root into 1 cm slices. Pack into clean, sterilised jars then pour over the vinegar mixture to reach the top of the jars and cover the beetroot slices. Cover and seal the jars and label. Store in a cool, dark place for a week to allow the flavours to develop before you eat the beetroot, which will keep for up to three months unopened.

Using beetroot in malt vinegar

Picked beetroot makes a great addition to a Ploughman’s Lunch. Originally a lump of bread, a piece of cheese and an apple, the traditional Ploughman’s has evolved into something distinctly more sophisticated. Make sure you provide some fresh, crusty bread in a chunky piece. Two or three different cheeses is ideal, one of which should be a rich cheddar, and accompanies by a robust ham – no thinly sliced rubbish here. With these basic ingredients in place, a Ploughman’s can then be turned into something quite special with the addition of some pickles. Pickled onions are non-negotiable, while the bold colour and tart sweetness of pickled beetroot complements the robustness of the other ingredients perfectly. A sliced apple or celery, a portion of coleslaw and a dab of mustard or chutney are optional extras.

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Suitable Bottling Produce

bottling produce

When you have a glut of any particular fruit or vegetable, you need to look at preserving methods to avoid wastage. Jams, pickles, chutneys and preserves of any kind are designed for this purpose, while freezing and simple bottling will also do the job. There is a list of suitable bottling produce as not all foods are suitable, but the basic procedure is the same all round.

The basics of bottling produce

When preserving produce you can bottle in two different ways – either in a boiling water bath or a pressure cooker. Bottling in boiling water is the simplest method and doesn’t require any special equipment.

You can bottle certain produce depending upon its natural acidity. You need a certain level of acidity when bottling fruits and vegetables to avoid an overgrowth of Clostridium botulinium bacteria, which can cause Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning. The bacteria can be destroyed in foods with a high enough level acidity by heating them to a certain temperature.

Most fruit apart from figs can safely be bottled either whole or made into jams, compotes or other preserves. Adding a little lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid will raise the acidity level if necessary. Most fresh vegetables apart from tomatoes don’t have the required acidity level for water bath bottling and will need pressure cooking to be safely preserved.

Choosing bottling produce

Bottling may be used to deal with a glut of produce but it will only work with decent quality food. Mouldy or diseased fruit will not do – make sure you use fresh, firm fruits. Small areas of lesions or spots can be cut away.

Bottling works best with fruits of optimum ripeness. If you can’t bottle the fruit while it is freshly picked, store it away in a cool, dark place until you are ready. Apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and pears should be left for a day after harvesting before bottling, unless they are very ripe, as this will allow them to sweeten a little more.

Boiling water bath tips

You can buy special preserving pans, but a large stockpot works perfectly well as a boiling water bath.

Line the base of the pan with a folded tea towel before filling it with water to prevent the bottom of the jars from banging against the bottom of the pot and cracking. If you are worried the boiling water will move the jars around, place another tea towel in between them.

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A Guide to Selling Homemade Jams

selling homemade jam

How do you take a hobby to a professional level? For example, how do you go from a love of cooking and go on to sell homemade jams to make a profit? Unfortunately it’s not simply a case of finding a group of people who think your produce is delicious and who are willing to pay you for it. In the UK in particular there are a number of regulatory and administrative hurdles to overcome. However it is doable and many people sell homemade jams as a way of making a career out of a hobby they enjoy.

There are some practical considerations before you start – quite simply you need to ensure your supply. You can bulk buy bottles and jars at Wares of Knutsford but you also need to make sure your fresh produce is available, even out of season.

The rules about selling homemade jam

Any foods made to be sold to the public must adhere to certain hygiene standards. Your local trading standards agency and environmental health department can provide you with more comprehensive information, but as a rule the first essential step is to obtain a food hygiene certificate.

If you are selling online there are certain other regulations which apply, and you will need to register at the Environmental Health Department as well as take their advice.

Labels count when selling homemade jam

You must also make sure that any food you plan to sell, whether online, in local shops or at a farmers market, is correctly labelled. Labelling regulations are strictly enforced and you must comply to be allowed to sell. First of all, the weight of the product must be clearly displayed, in metric or imperial format. Approved equipment must be used to obtain the weight, which must not include the packaging.

The name of the food must be clearly displayed, while you must also state clearly on the packaging if any additives were used in the production, such as flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives. You need also to include a ‘Use by’ or ‘Best before’ date, a list of ingredients, storage instructions – such as if a product needs to be refrigerated once open – and treatments or processes included in the production such as ‘previously frozen’. If your produce highlights the name of an ingredient, such as ‘mango chutney’ for example, you must state the percentage of the ingredient in the finished product.

Don’t be daunted by the red tape surrounding selling homemade jam – it sounds very strict but actually a lot of the the rules involve basic common sense.

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Leeks Nutrition Values

leeks nutrition values

The humble leek is often sadly overlooked in British cooking, but its sweet, delicate flavour has much to offer. Leeks are taller, more slender member of the allium family, which essentially means onions, garlic, shallots and similar bulbs. They have a number of similar uses in cooking and in health, according to these leeks nutrition facts.

Leeks nutrition values – it’s all about the allicin…

Leeks are little powerhouses of nutrition, offering a wonderful low calorie health boost – you’re looking at 61 calories per 100g. Like garlic, leeks are rich in thio-sulfinites for anti-oxidant powers and have been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol production.

The allicin they contain has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and has also been said to soften blood vessels and so reduce blood pressure. This little wonder nutrient can help to protect against strokes, coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular diseases by breaking down existing blood clots and preventing new ones from forming.

Vitamin and mineral leeks nutrition values

Among the vitamin content in leeks you can count on folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamin, so they’re great for pregnant women to eat to prevent neural tube defects in the foetus, or simply as part of an all round healthy diet.

Leeks are also great free radical fighters, containing the anti-oxidants vitamin A, carotenenes, lutein, xanthin plus vitamins C, K and E. Look to the stalk for a healthy provision of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Given all of leeks nutrition values, what’s really amazing is just how delicious this winter vegetable is to eat! Whether served simply with a knob of butter or baked into rich tarts and pastries, the leek is very versatile. This is a useful, quick dish for those days when you’ve run out of ideas for supper.

Leek, bacon and cheese penne

To serve 4:

  • 300g leeks, finely sliced
  • 200g bacon lardons
  • 400g penne pasta
  • 100g garlic and herb cream cheese

Fry the leeks gently in a tablespoon of olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of water for about 10 minutes, until soft. Increase the heat and add the bacon lardons, frying until cooked.

In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the pack directions and drain, reserving about 200ml of the cooking water. Add the cream cheese and the reserved pasta cooking water to the leek and bacon mixture, season and stir gently until the cheese has melted. Add the penne and stir through until coated with the cheese sauce – you may want to add a little more pasta water.

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Seasonal January Foods

January foods

For cooking in season January foods provide an excellent counterpart to the fatty richness of Christmas foods. Seville and blood oranges are the month’s star ingredients, to act as a kind of palate cleanser after the excesses and indulgences of the festive season, while January is also an excellent time for cabbage, clams, cockles, forced rhubarb, goose, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, mussels, oyster, parsnip, sea bass, swede, truffle, venison and winkles. You should also be able to catch the end of some some pheasant, pomegranates, salsify, whelk and wild duck, all of which are at the end of their season but still plentiful enough to enliven January plates.

January foods for detoxing

About a million gym memberships are opened in January, most of which are abandoned by February. Another way to feel virtuous this January is to embark upon a detox and healthy eating plan. One of the simplest ways to do this is to include a delicious and nutritious juice in your daily menu. If you use foods in season January offers the celebrity diet favourite – not always mouthwatering on its own but an ingredient that works beautifully for a fast nutrition hit in a juice.

January detox smoothie

  • 1 cup each of frozen peaches, kale and coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder (available from health food shops)

Blend the whole lot together until smooth – you’ll be surprised how well the warmth of the ginger and the sweetness of the peaches offset the rather green flavour of the kale.

January foods for indulging

If you’re less virtuous, try a blood orange tart for an excellent combination of tart sweetness.

  • 200g caster sugar
  • Juice and zest of 3 blood oranges
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 2 eggs and 6 egg yolks
  • 200g butter, cubed
  • 2 blood oranges, peeled and cut into neat, round slices
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
  • 1 pre-made 25cm sweet shortcrust pastry case

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Whisk together thoroughly the caster sugar, zest and juice, orange blossom water, eggs and egg yolks. Set the bowl over a bain-marie, add the butter and cook, stirring regularly, for about 15-20 minutes, until the butter is melted and the mixture thickens up.

Pour into the pastry case and allow to cool, covered with a piece of clingfilm to stop a skin forming.

Decorate the tart by arranging the sliced oranges on top, then a sprinkling of demerara sugar. Caramelise the surface with a cook’s blowtorch.

Serve with custard or double cream.

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Stainless Steel Food Steamers

food steamersChristmas dinner is traditionally all about the turkey and stuffing, leaving the vegetables and other accompaniments sadly neglected. Don’t risk soggy, limp vegetables with your Christmas dinner this year – give them the respect they deserve by cooking them in a stainless steel steamer.

Why use food steamers?

Steaming is a gentler but more effective method of cooking food than direct boiling. Foods retain their texture and shape, with vegetables in particular retaining bite and colour. Steaming also helps to retain nutrients in food that can be lost through other cooking methods. Furthermore, you’re far less likely to burn or overcook food in a steamer!

While the Chinese have been using cooking by steam for all sorts of foods, in the West they are most commonly used for vegetables.

Food steamers from Wares of Knutsford

You could shell out for a steam cooker but there’s really no need – Wares of Knutsford’s stainless steel steamer range includes models in a number of sizes and model variations.

Apart from a special three litre asparagus steamer, Wares of Knutsford offers stainless steel Clearview three tier food steamers in 16cm, 18cm, 20cm and 22cm sizes. The three tier system allows for flexible cooking so that three different items can be cooked separately but at the same time, or each tier can be added later on for foods requiring different cooking times. The steamers feature a vented glass lid, wide handles on each side for easy lifting and a high quality stainless steel interior and exterior finish. They can be used on any hob type including induction, are dishwasher safe and come with a 15 year guarantee. The steamers also come in a neat display box for easy wrapping if you’re planning to give one as a gift!

The Clearview Universal Steamer is a handy gadget that allows you to convert your existing saucepans into a steamer. The stepped steamer base will fit pans of 16cm, 18cm and 20cm sizes and features the same wide, riveted stainless steel handles and vented glass lid as the three tier versions.

If you do a lot of cooking, consider the Clearview Multi Function 7.5 litre Steamer. The base pan comes with two removable baskets so you can also use it as a stockpot or traditional saucepan, as a pasta cooker or a colander. This too is dishwasher safe, guaranteed for 15 years and suitable for any hob type.

Under the circumstances, there’s really no excuse for your carrots to be soggy or your peas mushy – unless you bought them at the chip shop!

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Making Christmas hampers

Christmas hampers

Christmas hampers are a great present when you’re really not sure what to buy. While shop bought versions lack personality,you can make xmas hampers and give them the personal touch, the result is likely to be very much appreciated.

Making Christmas hampers individual

You need to think about what your recipient likes. Your Christmas hampers don’t have to be full of food and drink – their contents can be varied. For example, if you are buying for a crafty type you could make a hamper full of sewing equipment. Gardeners might appreciate a basket full of little tools and implements they can use while working such as knee pads, gloves, plant tags, seeds and a little trowel and fork, for example. Keen cake bakers may prefer a hamper of baking equipment rather than ingredients, so you could consider some specialist baking trays and cutter shapes, a patterned rolling pin and a sugar craft set. Teenage girls would no doubt enjoy a hamper full of make up and so on…

Making Christmas hampers in traditional style

While you can make xmas hampers to suit an individual’s interests, it’s still hard to beat an old fashioned food hamper, full of tasty goodies. To make your hamper extra special, try to add some home made items. A bottle of wine, port or some other tipple is essential, to which you can add some cheese, pate, preserves and some sweet treats.

Pickles and chutneys go down well in any hamper, as they are an ideal accompaniment to the inevitable Christmas leftovers. There are plenty of delicious recipes available for chutneys, jams and other preserves on the Wares of Knutsford recipe section if you don’t have a tried and trusted recipe of your own. Having made your preserves, the key is to make them look attractive to go into the hamper. Here again Wares of Knutsford can help with a huge selection of jars. Apart from the standard, plain round jars with lids, there are a number of decorative shaped jars to make your home made produce look professional and appetising.

This includes a pretty label describing the contents, and perhaps a jar cover, tag and ribbon. In a hamper you could reasonably include home made pickles, a home made onion and tomato chutney and a home made jam, for example. If you’re really crafty, you could fill the hamper entirely with home made efforts.

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Cosmetic Bottles

cosmetic bottles

Christmas is a bumper time of year for small businesses, particularly those selling gift items such as cosmetics. Wares of Knutsford sells an excellent range of cosmetic bottles, ideal for those running small business or hoping to take their home made cosmetics to the next level.

Miniature cosmetic bottles

These can be used for giving out samples, travel packs or, with dropper caps, for essential oils and perfumes. The selection includes clear, amber, blue and green cosmetic bottles, with sizes starting at a tiny 5ml, plus the popular 10, 15, 20, 30 and 50ml sizes. These are particularly suitable for aromatherapy products. Various pack sizes are available and, as usual at Wares of Knutsford, the more you buy, the cheaper they get!

We can offer wholesale prices for larger orders so don’t hesitate to contact our helpful and friendly team for a wholesale price list and to arrange invoicing.

Cosmetic bottles for lotions and potions

Our larger, clear bottles are ideal for body lotions, cleansers, moisturisers, bath products or shampoos and conditioners. They are available in a variety of pack sizes and with a choice of lids, with sizes including 100ml, 150ml, 200ml, 300ml, 500ml and one litre. These smart bottles will give a very professional look to your products.

Wares of Knutsford also offers a 100ml perfume bottle in clear, heavyweight glass with a pump spray and overcap in a choice of gold, silver and cream. This can be bought singly or in packs of three or six.

Plastic bottles for cosmetics

Plastic bottles are less decorative than glass but are lighter and so useful for travelling and easier to transport. If these suit your purpose better, take a look at Wares of Knutsford’s impressive range of PVC bottles, which come with white press caps and in sizes 50ml, 100ml, 150ml, 200ml and 500ml. Various pack sizes are available plus a 250ml size clear PVC bottle with white flip top lid.

Remember that all bottles should be sterilised before use.

Once you have filed your bottles, don’t forget to pay some attention to packaging. At the very least you need a pretty label stating the contents of the bottle, any usage instructions or a use by date, and if you want to you can include an ingredients list. Wares of Knutsford sells a range of decorative labels suitable for this purpose. You can also consider decorating the bottles with ribbon or tags to catch the eye.

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Colourful Jar Labels

colourful jar labels

If you’ve been beavering away in the kitchen knocking up delicious home made marmalades, chutneys and sauces to give as Christmas presents, don’t forget to add some attractive labels for jars to your shopping list. You can’t give away home made produce without letting people know what it is, and if you’re considering taking your endeavours to a more professional level, labelling is essential.

Colourful jar labels by Words of Art

The most popular labels for jars at Wares of Knutsford are those made by mother and daughter artist team Rosemary and Caroline Wagstaff. The range includes whites labels with colourful painted borders featuring fruits, graphic prints, butterflies, honey bees, vegetables and gardening illustrations. The labels are self adhesive with a white ‘write on’ panel in the centre and are sold in packs of 18. Standard 75mm x 50mm labels and miniature 38mm x 21mm labels are available.

Coloured border labels come in periwinkle blue, rose red, sunshine yellow, ocean blue, cornflower blue, forest green, olive green and coral pink. These are idea for all sorts of products and feature dots, gingham and simple border patterns.

Of course these colourful jar labels don’t have to be used solely for food products. Some are ideal for home made cosmetics too, such as a jar of much needed hand cream for a keen gardener, with an appropriately illustrated label.

On the label you need to write the jar contents, at the very least, while an ingredients list, storage instructions and a use by date are also useful, if you have room.

Once you’ve found pretty labels that suit your produce, consider adding some jar covers and ribbons to further decorate your gifts and make them more personal.

Colourful jar labels by Kitchen Craft

The Home Made range of labels by Kitchen Craft are useful if you are buying in large quantities. There are packs of 100 assorted labels for chutneys or for jams, plus a pack of fifty herb and spice labels in clear vinyl.

In more graphic style, the Home Made range also includes a series of self-adhesive label packs with coloured designs in gingham, striped and spotted designs in blue, green, pink and red. These come in 65mm x 30mm size and feature a plain white central write on panel.

In the same range there is a pack of 20 monochrome self-adhesive labels in a clean and sophisticated design. These come in 85mm x 45mm size.

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Traditional Jam Jars

traditional jam jars

December is not the usual month for jam making, but it is a great time to make marmalades, pickles and chutneys of all sorts, both to give as gifts and as part of your Christmas cooking spectacular. Nothing cuts through the fatty excess of Christmas dinner leftovers like a sweet and tart chutney or pickle!

If you’re feeling a bit Scrooge-like this year, now is a great time for stocking up on jars for jam and preparing for next year’s seasonal cooking efforts. Either way, Wares of Knutsford has a huge selection of jars for jam to help you.

Decorative and traditional jam jars

The Wares of Knutsford traditional jam jars range starts with the basic, shape suitable for competition use. These are available in sizes from a mini 41ml up to 378ml or 1lb. These all purpose jars are incredibly useful for any kind of home preserving and come with heat sealable lids in a range of colours including gold, silver, black, white, green and red or blue gingham.

However, if you’re planning to give edible gifts you may want to consider something a little more decorative. The Deluxe range jars can also be bought in a number of sizes and are made from heavyweight glass with straight sides, combining functionality with contemporary good looks perfectly. The Fancy Food Jars range is also ideal for edible gift giving or for commercial display, with an interesting detail around the neck for a professional look.

Aside from round jars, the Wares range encompasses a number of hexagonal and octagonal jars again starting at a mini 45ml size and going up to the 385ml Bonne Maman style jar.

Study the jars range carefully to make sure you make the right selection for your purposes and if you’re buying jars to give as gifts, don’t forget to include some fancy labels, ribbons, jar covers and other decorative elements!

Traditional jam jar in bargain packs

The bargain jar packs are some of our most popular items. They offer great value and convenience for enthusiastic amateur preservers or those who are delving into the commercial world. Bargain packs include 192 jars with lids and encompass a huge range of our different jars, from the basic jam jar to special honey jars, mini jars, verrine jars, spice jars, clip top jars, miniature whisky bottles and cosmetics jars.

Particularly impressive is the fact that you are charged the same flat postage rate for a bargain pack (or more than one) of jars as for any other delivery!

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Wholesale Bottles

wholesale bottles

With any luck, small business will enjoy a busy and successful Christmas this year, leaving them seriously in need of replenishing stock come January.If you need to bulk buy bottles, Wares of Knutsford is pleased to offer wholesale prices on its huge range, making our already attractive prices even more affordable.

Conditions for buying wholesale bottles

Whether you are an established business or are simply hoping to take your hobby to a professional level, Wares of Knutsford can supply a massive range of wholesale bottles to showcase your products. You can bulk buy bottles in bargain packs of 192 if you are not yet ready for wholesale quantities, but once you have reached the stage of ordering a pallet or more at a time, don’t hesitate to contact us for a wholesale price list.

Wholesale conditions require a minimum order value of £450, excluding VAT. Delivery will be priced per order and charged by the pallet. You can complete a pallet with any mixture of bottles or jars, which are neatly and safely packed in boxes. When you place an order we will supply a proforma invoice, to be paid in full to secure the dispatch of your order. We aim to achieve delivery within seven days, even for large and complicated orders.

Wholesale bottles range

Wares of Knutsford supplies bottles suitable for drinks, sauces, condiments, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. There are glass bottles in a range of different colours and a wide choice of lids and plastic options with press cap or screw top lids. Basic shapes of wine, beer and water bottles are complemented by a selection of more decorative bottles and sizes range from a miniature 5ml up to demijohn. Spare caps and tops of various kinds are available too, including screw caps, corks, swing stoppers, pouring spouts, droppers and crown caps (plus a capper device).

There are a number of different pack sizes, so you can make up the contents of your pallets exactly according to your needs, and include some miniature bottles to provide samples, if you need to. We have searched far and wide to be able to provide what we believe is the best and most comprehensive range of bottles on the internet, but if you can’t find what you are looking for on the site, please do not hesitate to contact us with your requirements and we will try to track it down for you.

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