How Brunch Box was born...

How Brunch Box was born...

Brunch is the best, right? Weekends are for relaxing, browsing the markets, picking up fresh ingredients and heading home to cook a delicious meal - or visiting a cafe to try something new. Weekends are for afternoon naps if you feel like it, and in the evening maybe grabbing a bite before heading to the movies, or dining out with friends. Weekends are amazing.

But our beloved routine changed drastically when our children arrived. Hot tip: having children and relaxing are not compatible.

Like most parents, our life with littlies consists of constant child wrangling, negotiating, monitoring, chasing and sometimes actual wrestling. As our darlings progressed from babies into toddlers, cafe and restaurant experiences became an exercise requiring military level planning. Pack a bag, load the car, find a park, stalk a table, order and cross fingers you've chosen the right thing, hope it arrives before your children trash the place. Getting a lively curious two-year-old to sit for any amount of time was an impossibility.

On one memorable occasion, we took turns to walking our son around the outside of the building so that at least one of us could eat their meal in peace. Meanwhile the other parent was getting hangry, their food was getting cold, and we were both dreaming of a time when we might actually be able eat simultaneously and maybe even - gasp! - have a conversation.

So, spending chunks of money on a decidedly average experience quickly lost it's appeal, but all was not lost. We set about refining our brunch skills at home, and pretty soon we weren't missing the café lifestyle. Our meals consisted of the tastiest, freshest ingredients we could find. Brunch was ready when we were, so we could eat when the littles were napping or busily occupied. Brunch was a very satisfying experience in the comfort of our own home - even in our PJs if we wanted!

Our kids are older now, but we remember the early years well, and that was our inspiration for starting Brunch Box. Delicious premium ingredients delivered to your door, easy to prepare, and cook when you're ready. 

BrunchBoxNZ Admin
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Five easy meal ideas with Smoky Butter Beans

Five easy meal ideas with Smoky Butter Beans

We all need a few quick meal ideas up our sleeve, especially during the busy season. Our Smoky Butter Beans are a super handy thing to have in the fridge or freezer as they're nutritious, filling and a real crowd-pleaser. If you aren't that fussed on baked beans, these are more smoky and savoury and definitely worth a try. They've converted many a non-baked-beaner, including some members of our family! 
Heather Ashcroft
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How to make amazing guacamole

How to make amazing guacamole

If you'd like a change from good ole chips 'n' dip, guacamole with corn chips is a tasty alternative. A few crucial ingredients can take your guacamole from average to amazing - it's all about the seasoning! 
Heather Ashcroft
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Mount atkinson coffee beans

Why Mt Atkinson is on a mission

When Jacob Parsons bought a coffee cart on a whim in 2007, he had no experience running a business. He didn't even know how to make a good cup of coffee. Thirteen years later ..
Heather Ashcroft
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Brunch Box Packaging

Brunch Box Packaging

When we launched Brunch Box, we spent a lot of time agonising over the most environmentally friendly ways to package our products. It is still a work in progress, but we are doing our best to make kind choices for our planet. Thankfully there has been a lot of development in packaging over the last few years which we've been able to utilise.
Heather Ashcroft
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avocados on tree

Why we love avocados

A long time before we began Brunch Box, we started an avocado subscription business in our local area. We taste tested a lot of avocados and discovered not all of them are created equal. We were completely fed up with the lucky dip of supermarket avocados. 

Everyone's familiar with the tense moment of cutting into a ripe avocado: Will it be a beautiful specimen or will it be bruised? Will it be stringy? Will it have a massive stone and barely any green goodness? Will we actually be eating avocado, or was it a waste of money? 

Sourcing directly from the grower is a crucial part of avocado success. Our avos aren't cool stored, which is critical to preserving the flavour. There is significantly less handling, which means less bruising. We deliver the avocados unripe, so you need to wait patiently for them to get to eating stage.

The best way to store them is on the kitchen bench, out of direct sunlight. This is important, because the sun will burn the avocado skin but not heat it all the way through, so you'll end up with an avo that's still raw in some parts and squishy in others.

Having your avocados delivered weekly means that you shouldn't need to wait long before another one is ready, which is brilliant when they are a regular feature on your menu.

The Different Stages of Ripening:

  1. This avocado is freshly picked, green and full of promise! The good fat in an avocado is what gives them their delicious flavour. As the season goes on and the fat level rises, they will ripen faster as the weather warms up.
  2. This avocado is darkening up but don't be tempted to cut into it just yet - it's not ready! The skin will yield slightly but it's not ripe the whole way through just yet, so wait a little longer. If you have too many ready to eat, this is a good time to pop some in the fridge to slow down their ripening time.
  3. Ripe! Today is the day! Check the avocado flesh gives a little when you press it. Another sign is being easily able to push the stem into the body of the fruit. Cut that beauty open and enjoy.

The waiting bit is not so easy when you love avocado, but there are some things you can do to speed it up.

  • Avocados ripen faster with a gentle, even heat. If you have a hot water cupboard, that's the fastest way to speed up the process.
  • Fruit like bananas, apples or kiwifruit release a natural ethylene gas which can also quicken ripening. Place your avocados in a paper bag together with some of these or put them alongside each other in the fruit bowl.

Remember avocados will ripen faster as we get further into summer. In October they take 7-10 days, but in March it's 3-4 days. 

An amazing avocado is such a delight to eat, and they are very nutritious, containing loads of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are high in fibre - 14 grams per fruit! - and omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for our hearts. 

Delicious AND good for us - have we found the perfect fruit? 🥑

 

Heather Ashcroft
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Getting the best from your sourdough

Getting the best from your sourdough

A quality sourdough is such a different experience to eat from standard supermarket bread, and its much better for you. Sourdough is a great source of nutrients and vitamins, is lower G.I, and higher in soluble fibre and protein.

As delicious as it is, it's not always convenient to eat the entire loaf in one day, so we've put together some tips for how to look after your sourdough.

Storage:

Sourdough is best stored wrapped in a teatowel at room temperature, or if you are a regular sourdough eater, we highly recommend investing in an XL beeswax wrap. We've been experimenting and the results are impressive - using a wrap easily extends the life of the bread by 2-3 days. It stays noticeably softer using the wrap instead of a teatowel. We love the Little & Kind wraps, now available in the bread section. They come in 4 amazing prints, so not only do they take good care of your bread, but its like a party in your kitchen. 

 

Freezing:

If you're not going to get through your bread any time soon, feel free to pop it in the freezer. It freezes beautifully and if you freshen it up in the oven after defrosting, you'll barely notice a difference between your loaf and one baked fresh on the day.

Freshen It Up:

Use this method for older sourdough or if its been in the freezer.

1. Defrost bread if needed.

2. Heat oven to 160 degrees.

3. Flick some water droplets over the loaf, and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from oven when its heated through and allow to cool to room temperature.

Ta-da! Your loaf is back to its delicious best.

BrunchBoxNZ Admin
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