Merchant Gourmet Limited Edition Spiced Grains & Chestnuts

Perfect Pouches for Christmas

merchant-grains-xmasMerchant Gourmet have long had their fingers on the pulse of non-meat trends. This year 20% of British home chefs are considering an entirely plant-based Christmas dinner. Now Merchant Gourmet are offering Spiced Grains & Chestnuts pouches in a couple of varieties and in time for the festive season.  These are delicious and convenient, as well as a good source of fibre and low in fat. They are vegetarian so can be the main event in a meatless meal or as a side dish to a traditional Christmas.

The Merchant Gourmet Spiced Grains & Chestnuts pouches are full of aromatic spices and plant-powered protein. They are ready-to-eat and a versatile addition to the thoughtful pantry. We should all be cutting back on meat products, but we don’t need to cut back on flavour or texture.

The Merchant Gourmet Spiced Grains and Chestnuts with Wild Rice and Cranberries, and the Spiced Grains and Chestnuts with Mushrooms and Cranberries are both packed with hearty and healthy goodness, and they can be eaten immediately or used to enhance one’s own recipes. Just massage the pouch to loosen the grains. Heat thoroughly with a little water in a pan. As an alternative, tear a 2cm opening at the top and microwave for 45s at 900w. None of Merchant Gourmet’s products contain preservatives or artificial colours, and the new Spiced Grains & Chestnuts pouches are no exception.

Plant-based alternatives

Managing Director at Merchant Gourmet Richard Peake announced, “We’re really excited to be adding Spiced Grains & Chestnuts to our range, providing shoppers with a new and exciting product that is specially designed to complement festive dishes.

“Chestnuts are becoming increasingly popular with 18–34-year-olds, growing by 53% in the last 5 years. The ingredient is a staple for many throughout the festive season and we believe the new pouch will be popular amongst those looking for plant-based alternatives this Christmas. The product is the first in a series of limited-edition flavours, as we continue to tap into seasonal trends and excite our customers with more plant-based innovation than ever before.”

There are plenty of opportunities to incorporate either or both of the Spiced Grains and Chestnuts pouches into the season’s special meals: Roasted Vegetable Salad with Spiced Grains and Chestnuts, Spiced Grains and Chestnut Mushroom Wellington, Spiced Stuffed Squash with Creamy Dressing. Visit the Merchant Gourmet for more recipe inspirations here

I have a few ideas myself. It’s that time of year when drinks parties are a ‘thing’. Nibbles with drinks can be a problem but Merchant Gourmet can have your back for at least one of those canape trays. Line some miniature tart tins with some good quality shortcrust pastry and bake. Fill almost to the top with spoonfuls of either of the Spiced Grains and Chestnuts. Top some with Hollandaise sauce and the rest with a little cranberry sauce.

Christmas Grain Tower

But one might be looking for a vegetarian main course. It should taste amazing, be quick to prepare and it should look impressive. So how’s about a Christmas Grain Tower? Just line a ramekin with kitchen film. Half-fill the lined ramekin with the grains and press down well. Smooth the layer so it has a clean edge. Now top the ramekin with a potato and parsnip mash and smooth off level with the top of the ramekin. Turn the ramekin out onto a dinner plate and remove the ramekin and film. One should have a two-layer tower ready to be garnished with sprouts, parsnip chips, cranberry sauce, roasted carrots and a nice rich vegetarian gravy.