The whole of September is Organic September, an initiative run by the Soil Association to help promote organic goods and producers. According to the Soil Association, choosing organic means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment – which means more wildlife.
While there are a number of events and promotions running nationwide during September 2017, you can also make changes closer to home, both in terms of the food you eat and the products you buy for your home.
Organic date and apple muffins recipe
According to a 2015 report by non-profit organisation the Environmental Working Group (EWG), commercially grown apples are one of the most contaminated fruit with a high percentage containing some pesticide residue. Fortunately, it’s the right time of year for apples here in the UK and organic fruit is starting to appear at farmers’ markets all over the place.
If you know someone with an apple tree, then get round there with a carrier bag – most areas have had bumper crops this year, so they’ll probably be glad to get rid of a few! If there’s any fruit that’s a bit bashed and needs to be used quickly, these muffins are a quick and easy solution.
To make around 6 muffins, you’ll need (all ingredients should be organic):
- 60g butter, softened
- 60g self raising flour
- 2 freerange eggs
- 60g sugar
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces (any variety is fine, either cooking or eating)
- 12 dates, cut into small pieces
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour, and beat to a smooth batter.
Add the chunks of apple and the dates, and gently mix round until all the fruit is distributed.
Line a muffin tin with paper cases, and spoon the mixture in. Bake for around 15 minutes until well risen and pale gold. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then lift the muffins out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Top five organic homeware picks
Organic cotton is a great choice for bedding, baby clothes and tea towels, as it’s super soft. We’ve also chosen some organic soap, and luxury candles made with organic soy to scent your home.
Perfect for the British weather is this cushion from Cottage in the Hills. Prices start at £30 including a feather pad, or personalised from £55. Product launches 17th September.
CAM CAM Copenhagen’s quilt playmat, £62, is textured, soft and luxurious with a simple graphic design based on the classic Japanese star, asanoha. Made from 100% organic cotton and available in different colours from The Modern Nursery.
Lavender and geranium soap, beefayre. A deliciously fragranced organic soap, £3.50, with essential oils of lavender and geranium which are calming, nourishing and kind to the skin. Free from parabens and sulphates, this soap is made in England by beefayre, a company which helps support the plight of the bumblebee. Available from Annabel James.
This organic cotton reversible throw, £44.95, from Tweedmill is woven in North Wales and is perfect for brightening up a bed, sofa or chair. Available from Black by Design.
Handmade the traditional way, these organic candles use 100% natural soy and the cotton wick is primed with vegetable based wax for a lasting and cleaner burn. They’re then hand-poured into traditional, chunky glass mason jars with a vintage apothecary style label. Burn time is 50-64 hours and they cost £25 each from Loaf.