1. Salt tastes good, but is bad for your health if you eat too much of it. Use it moderately and be creative when looking for alternatives.

    You probably think that dishes without salt do not have a lot of taste. Guess again. When you’re cooking or ready to start eating, first taste before you add some (more) salt. And if you still want to add some flavour, there are various alternatives.

    Choose the right food
    Nature offers us a lot of food that doesn’t need any salt to taste good. Whole grains (rice, pasta, bulgur, quinoa, corn) have a lot more taste than their refined versions. Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, white beans) flavoured with shallots or garlic are also delicious, even without salt.


    source: http://healthycheapandsimple.weebly.com/breads-rice-pasta–casseroles–other-grains.html


    Spices such as coriander, parsley or chervil add flavour to warm and cold dishes. If you add them at the end of the preparation, they come out even better.


    Seasonal vegetables and fruits
    In general, seasonal vegetables and fruits have more flavour. Chicory, celery, leek, cabbage, fennel, pepper are all tasty vegetables that can go without salt. Moreover, Delhaize offers a wide range of low-salt products: canned vegetables and fish, rice waffles, meat, sodium-low salt…

    Source: http://olharfeliz.typepad.com/cuisine/2008/02/bruschetta-de-p.html


    Good to know
    To know how much salt a product contains, check the label and multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5.


    Bon appétit!


    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of February-March 2014.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  2. Vividly coloured and tasty, citrus fruits put a little sunshine on the table, even in the middle of the winter. In juices or as scraps, slices or a carpaccio, they add zest to various dishes and offer you the necessary vitamin C! A magic recipe that protects you against colds. Here is our seasonal range.



    The orange is a delicious and juicy fruit. As soon as you have tasted it, your energy level is boosted! You can obtain your daily dose of vitamin C from a medium orange!

    The smallest citrus fruit can be eaten entirely, as the skin is full of antioxidants. Recipe idea: cook some pasta al dente and add some truffle scraps and thin slices of cumquat to serve a quick and delicious meal.

    The clementine is a cross between an orange and a mandarin that can be peeled easily and contains few pips.  Children just love it!

    Blood orange
    A blood orange is a real treat. Its deep red flesh and sweet taste sometimes remind of raspberries.  You can use it to flavour juices and desserts.

    Lemons can be used in both sweet and salty dishes. Lemon juice adds zest to carpaccios, a cup of tea or red beet soup. Miracle recipe when you’re having a cold: draw clove and ginger in a big cup of hot water. Strain the extraction as soon as it has reached room temperature and add some lemon juice and honey.

    Its subtle taste works well in cocktails like mojito or ti’punch with or without alcohol. A lime is less sour than a lemon and gives a little extra to your minced fish.

    White grapefruit
    Starters, main dishes or desserts: white grapefruit is always a success with its marked bitter taste. It is delicious with fish, sea food, pork, chicken or duck.

    Pink grapefruit
    Pink grapefruit has a softer taste than the white variety and is the perfect piece of fruit for breakfast: cut it into two pieces, add some sugar and begin your day with a lot of energy.  If you would like to try something else, add some pink grapefruit juice to your creamy carrot soup. Yummie!


    A few tips

    • Roll the citrus fruits over the worktable with your hands to obtain even more juice.
    • Put a peeled piece of fruit in the freezer for about ten minutes before making a carpaccio of it.
    • How do you store citrus fruits? In the refrigerator! Don’t keep them for too long and preferably eat them raw. Rinse off the citrus fruits, as vitamin C is soluble.


    What is vitamin C?
    Vitamin C works as an antioxidant in the body and is necessary to form connective tissue, to absorb iron and to build up resistance. It is also beneficial for healthy bones, teeth, skin and blood vessels.

    How can you take up enough vitamin C?
    The body itself produces a number of vitamins, but no vitamin C.  This means we have to eat enough fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, kiwis, forest fruits (blackcurrants, raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, red berries), passion fruits, mangos, red peppers, cabbages, sauerkraut, broccoli, watercress, chervil, etc.




    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of February-March 2014.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  3. Knitting, crocheting, sewing… These used to be the things you saw your grandmother do during the Sunday afternoon visits. In spite of the fact  that those times are long gone, handicrafts are hip again. Young and old mingle during the numerous knitting classes that are organized in many countries. Youngsters are sharing top addresses to buy some special fabric or wool. Teddy bears for children are no longer bought in toy stores but homemade by handy moms. It’s obvious. Granny is hip again.

    In times of busy agendas and always present social media, it can feel good to go back to basics. It feels wonderful to use your own hands to really create something instead of using them as a typing tool. It’s all about taking the time to make time for you. As the world around us seems to turn faster every day, it’s our guess that more and more people will turn to crafts like knitting and sewing to get some piece of mind.

    From research it appears there is a wide range of ways in which knitting helps humans cope, physically and mentally:

    Knitting is used for therapy as it is a powerful distractant,

    Knitting is supremely relaxing, which is extremely important for reducing stress and anxiety,

    Knitting connects people, knitting groups turn a solitary activity into a social one,

    Knitting improves concentration and can provide an outlet for excessive energy,

    Knitting can reduce the risk of dementia,

    Knitting offers a break from busy schedules and a refreshing detox from a technology-saturated world,

    Knitting makes people happy, those who knit and those who receive knitted items.

    For more details on the above check this article (http://www.treehugger.com/culture/dont-stop-knitting-its-keeping-you-healthy.html)


    Aside from escaping from the daily hassle, knitting and sewing is of course mainly about having fun! And why not share this fun with your children? They might not yet have the skills to use a sewing needle, but they will certainly be able to do some French knitting! How to do it? Just watch this video:

    Another way to keep the kids busy during a rainy afternoon is by creating pompons. They are really easy to make and the results are always fun. Use them to decorate a key hanger or a cupboard or sew them on your warm winter hat. Or why not create some reusable party decorations?
    Source: http://www.momtastic.com/life/163973-diy-pom-pom-garland/


    Conclusion: handicrafts are back and they are bigger and better than ever! Are you inspired by the thousands of people that re-discovered the art of sewing or knitting? Give it a try! If you have to begin from scratch, we advise you to check out some YouTube tutorials. They explain in detail how to start-to-knit. And if you appreciate some company while testing your sewing skills, do a quick Google search about handicrafts activities in your hometown. There must be plenty!

  4. Fairtrade. Fair trade. The name says it all. It’s all about keeping trade fair so that the people producing our food are rewarded for their though labor. It’s about a better life for millions of farmers in third world countries, including their families. Buying Fairtrade products allows you to directly contribute to better life and work circumstances of farmers around the world.

    Delhaize Belgium is a true Fairtrade supporter. Delhaize was the first supermarket in Belgium to include Fairtrade products in the product range over 20 years ago and nowadays it continues to be market leader as far as the sales of those products are concerned. More than 120 fair and delicious products are waiting for the clients. Did you know that the range of products goes a lot wider than coffee and bananas? Fruit shakes, sugar, chocolate paste, candy, beans… Name it and chances are you can find a Fairtrade alternative available.

    Sometimes though, it’s not so easy to convince shoppers to buy Fairtrade products. People are aware of the existence of Fairtrade products, but often they do not really know why they should buy them. Time to take action according to 4 AD Delhaize stores in Belgium (AD Delhaize stores are affiliated supermarkets operated by independent owners; these stores are similar but on average smaller than the company operated Delhaize supermarkets).

    The 4 stores set up a fun action to promote Fairtrade products during the Fairtrade week that takes place every year during the fall. They decided to give their clients the possibility to discover the products thanks to numerous tastings and promotions organized in the stores. Check the video (in French and Dutch only) to see how enthusiastically they handled it: DELHAIZE – Fair Trade.

    You might wonder what the Fairtrade label exactly promises. Well, the Fairtrade trademark is built upon 3 important pillars: 

    Economical: the farmers are paid an honest price. Their income becomes more stable, they have the possibility to pre-finance and they get a Fair Trade premium for joint investments that are beneficial for the community.

    Social: the farmers are united in democratic organizations that help them to stand stronger in the market. Social rights are respected, child labor is being tackled… all thanks to Fair Trade.

    Environment: dangerous pesticides and Genitically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are forbidden, farmers have to respect nature and find durable solutions.


    Are you charmed by the Fairtrade philosophy? That’s great news! Every Fairtrade product you buy contributes to a better world. If lots of people like us take lots of small steps towards a more fair trade, who knows what we can accomplish in the future!

  5. Great news coming from one of our banners! The Central Avenue Hannaford store in Albany, New York, partnered with the Capital District and a nonprofit health plan provider to open a Healthy Living Center, an innovative wellness facility inside the Hannaford store. Healthy living, innovation, wellness… Well that sounds like our cup of tea!

    The Healthy Living Center, a true pioneering facility, offers a holistic approach to health and well-being. It welcomes Hannaford’s shoppers to participate in a variety of programs that support healthy living and wellness. You can participate in a group exercise, senior fitness class or personal training session. People with specific health needs can try the “Pedaling for Parkinson” or diabetes prevention course. 

    Healthy Living Center Group Exercise Class

    Rudy DiPietro, Vice President of Retail Operations for Hannaford Supermarkets sees a bright future for the project: “Hannaford is deeply committed to addressing the health and wellness needs of the communities in which we live and operate. The Healthy Living Center will provide a critical service to individuals and families throughout the Capital Region. We look forward to welcoming our shoppers to this pioneering facility which will undoubtedly serve as a new model for community health services.”

    The story of the Healthy Living Center doesn’t end with exercise and sports. It’s also an information center: Member service representatives from CDPHP are available daily to answer questions regarding health and insurance needs. On top of that, nutrition seminars are organized to help people believe that health and well-being is something they can hope for.

    We must say: Hannaford is a true pioneer when it comes to health and innovation. In the past, they already focused on improving the nutritional value of meals offered in the cafeteria at its headquarters. They also promote the Guiding Stars initiative that focuses on healthy eating. We invite you to check out the “Eat Healthy” section on their website. It’s full of recipes and product nutrition information.


    Thank you Hannaford for helping us spread healthy lifestyle news!


  6. Remember the Guiding Stars®?  It’s not the first time that we talk about this powerful food rating system on our blog. The stars can help you navigate supermarket aisles and choose foods based on the nutritional value.

    • One Guiding Star indicates good nutritional value
    • Two Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value
    • Three Guiding Stars indicate the best nutritional value

    If you’d like to know more about the detailed scientific way of calculating the number of stars, we invite you to check this document.

    Written in the stars

    So why are we talking stars again? In fact, a recent study in the journal Food Policy proves that the Guiding Stars® rating program does affect supermarket shopper’s selections, while significantly boosting the demand for products that are evaluated as more nutritious. The independent research was conducted in our Hannaford supermarkets. This means that food rating systems can indeed positively influence consumer purchasing behavior. And that’s great news! It means that the Guiding Stars® are reaching their goals.

    So there is every reason to continue the Guiding Stars® program and kick off new initiatives. One of those initiatives is called “Guiding Stars Good Ideas”.  The program places small displays throughout the stores that feature a simple, healthy, inexpensive recipe idea.

    Julie Greene, Hannaford’s Healthy Living Director, knows why these Good Ideas are appreciated: “Shoppers say they want to make changes to the way they eat, but they are time starved, or they don’t know how to cook healthy foods, or think they cost too much. The ‘Good Ideas’ initiative shows them that cooking a healthy dish doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.”

    A 3 star meal

    Talking about stars is one thing, tasting them is even better! That’s why we’d like to share this 3-star recipe with you. This cranberry orange sauce tastes delicious and it has great nutritional value. A nice little extra is that it’s ready in 10 minutes. So here we go!

    1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
    1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    Zest of 1 medium orange, grated
    1 pinch ground ginger
    1 pinch cinnamon
    1 cloves
    2 teaspoons Splenda ( = sweetener) brown sugar blend

    How to do the magic:
    1. Heat all ingredients until the simmering point is reached on a medium heat.
    2. Use a large spoon or potato masher and press down on the cranberries to squash them all.
    3. Heat for around 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up.
    4. Allow to cool and remove clove before serving.


    Bon appétit!


  7. They belong to the same family as the paprika. However, whereas paprikas are mostly eaten as vegetables, peppers are especially used as spices. A good idea to get warm when temperatures drop. Some peppers are quite soft, others are spicy or even hot. Below a list starting with the hottest.


    Mixed mini peppers
    These little red and green peppers can be used in sauces, marinades, chili con carne, Indian curries and wok dishes. The little seeds are the spiciest.

    Green peppers
    These green peppers are specially imported from Turkey. They are often used to flavor a salad, meat, pizza or appetizers.

    Pepper puree
    This is a puree that, apart from its name, has nothing to do with puree. It is used to flavor grills, couscous, tajines, fajitas and tacos, but daredevils also spread it on a slice of toasted bread or eat it with grissini. Hot!

    Cayenne pepper
    This pepper is named after a city in Guyana. Cayenne pepper has a strong nutmeg smell and a burning taste. Perfect with fish and seafood.

    Piri piri capsules
    These dried capsules are ideal to prepare spicy oil. How? By letting them soak in olive oil for about 1 month. Ideal to flavor pastas, pizzas, etc.

    Ground piri piri
    Piri piri or pili pili is a red pepper of African origin. Pili pili means ‘strong pepper’ in Bantu and in other languages south from the Sahara.

    Piment d’Espelette
    The peppers’ star, as it is the only pepper to have its own AOC (Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée). It is grown in the Basque Country and has an intense flavor palette, but is not too spicy. Use it to flavor your dishes. It can also replace pepper.

    Red peppers in a jar
    A real classic as a side dish or first course with some garlic, anchovy or olives.

    Fresh red pepper
    Fresh red pepper is grown in different places all over the world, but especially in warm regions. Its shape, size and even spiciness are determined by the variety and the cultivation region (Spain, Morocco, South America, etc.). It is used fresh to flavor dishes, or is preserved in oil or vinegar.


    What to do when your mouth is on fire?
    In any case, do not call the fire brigade, because water does not take away the burning sensation. Capsaicin, that gives peppers their spicy flavor, does not dissolve in water, but in fat. Drink some milk, eat some yoghurt or cheese, in other words nutrients that contain oil or fat. You can also eat rice: capsaicin attaches itself to rice, which makes the burning sensation disappear…



    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of October-November 2013.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  8. Are you still looking for a New Year’s Eve outfit? Search no more! A stylish ensemble is probably already waiting for you in your own closet. With some small modifications or extra accessories, your 3-year old LBD* can look brand new again. The same recycle principle, but in a slightly more glamorous way, was put into practice by the organizers of the “Second hand, Second life” Fashion show in Brussels.

    Loyal readers of this blog already know: we are a fan of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle theme. That’s why we wanted to shed some light on this great initiative of the Belgian organization “Les Petits Riens/Spullenhulp” (site in French and Flemish only). Their mission is to fight poverty and exclusion by helping people in need and providing them with clothing, housing and food. The fashion show, which already celebrated its 11th birthday this year, collects funds to finance all these activities.



    “Les Petits Riens/Spullenhulp” was one of the first to show everybody the possibilities of second hand clothing and furniture. A fashion show that demonstrates how trendy recycled clothes could look is therefore the perfect event to showcase what the organization is all about. 15 designers and 14 stylists, among which Edouard Vermeulen, designer of the famous brand Natan, took the challenge of creating a fashionable outfit while only using second hand clothes. The results were amazing. The cutting edge silhouettes walking on the catwalk showed the audience how a touch of creativity can turn old-fashioned clothes into breathtaking creations. There is no doubt: giving a second life to used items is trending at the moment.

    Inspired by this action we challenge you to find something old and turn it into something new for New Year’s Eve. Don’t we all have some items in our closet we forgot about? Or some items that could use a little pimping? One thing is clear. Don’t ever throw clothes in the garbage when you don’t wear them anymore. Bring them to a local charity so that they can be distributed to people who can use them. Who knows, you might see your old jeans turn up in a high-end fashion show.



    *LBD or Little Black Dress (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_black_dress) for those of you not yet introduced to the subject. 

  9. Universal and endlessly varied, soup can be served every season. It is nutritious and heartwarming – ideal to keep the autumn cozy.

    Easy to prepare, affordable, and yet delicious and nutritious, soup can be prepared by anyone with any budget. Moreover, every regional cuisine has its own soup that is known far beyond its own territory. Some examples: onion or vegetable soup with pistou in France, pea soup with sausage in the Netherlands, Italian minestrone, Moroccan harira, Chinese noodle broth, etc.

    Easy and trendy!
    Soup is trendier than ever. Soup bars spring up like mushrooms and deal with the classic soups in a creative way. Let your imagination also work at home! Vegetable or meat broths are usually a fine basis to start with. Go for meat or fish broths if you prefer a stronger taste. Add seasonal vegetables that are ready for use, out of the refrigerator or the freezer: pumpkin or celeriac cubes, leek, broccoli, etc. Pureed vegetable soups very often include cubes of Comté cheese or little cheese balls with fines herbes. A few drops of coleseed oil or hazelnut oil or some butter make the soup richer and smoother. Add some vinegar to make the soup a bit sourer and to give more expression to the taste. Do not hesitate to flavor your soup with finely cut herbs or some pesto!


    The secret of a tasty vegetable soup
    To prepare a pureed vegetable soup, cut the vegetables and cook them in some olive oil over low heat until you get a smooth blend. Add some broth when the vegetables are nearly cooked, let them cook a bit more and then purée them. Finally, season with some herbs. Easy but delicious!


    Smashing pumpkin soup


    1 tbs olive oil
    1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1.2 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
    1L (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
    Dollop of natural yoghurt
    1 garlic clove
    Turkish bread and extra virgin olive oil to serve

    1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Add cumin and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until aromatic.
    2. Add pumpkin and stir to coat. Add stock. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Set aside to cool slightly. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth.
    3. Cut Turkish bread in half and cook on a chargrill until golden. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and rub with the cut side of a garlic clove. Ladle soup among serving bowls. Top with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Serve with the bread.


    Enjoy your heartwarming soup!


    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of October-November 2013.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  10. The Turner Hannaford store is the only supermarket in New England (Maine) currently certified as GreenChill platinum, one of just two stores in the U.S. with this certification.

    We are very proud that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership has awarded the Turner Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy with a platinum-level store certification. This rare designation recognizes the store’s use of an advanced refrigeration system that is far better for the environment than conventional systems.

    The Turner Hannaford store is the first supermarket in the U.S. to cool and freeze food with a system that uses only carbon dioxide (CO2), a natural refrigerant.  Traditional refrigeration technologies are prone to refrigerant leaks that both deplete the ozone layer and contribute to climate change. The natural coolant used at the Turner Hannaford eliminates the risk to the ozone layer and significantly reduces the store’s climate impacts.


    Transcritical refrigeration operates at higher pressure than other CO2 systems, eliminating the need for any refrigerant that can harm the environment.

    The GreenChill Store Certification Program encourages food retailers to use refrigerants in their cooling systems that are not damaging to the ozone layer or climate and limit the amount of refrigerant that is released into the atmosphere. Platinum-level certification is a rare honor, representing the highest level of recognition available from the GreenChill Store Certification Program.

    Hannaford opened its 35 000-square-foot store in the central Maine community of Turner on July 20. Until that time, transcritical CO2 refrigeration units had been employed in northern Europe and Canada, but never at a supermarket in the U.S.

    Hannaford started looking at this system two years ago, as part of the company’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions overall. Employing a natural refrigerant like CO2 required a lot of learning from Hannaford associates and that learning continues. The Turner refrigeration system is a pilot for Hannaford, it is a living laboratory in how to use this environmentally sustainable technology.”

    Turner’s refrigeration system is the latest example of innovation by Hannaford, which has been an industry leader in sustainability.

    Several other Hannaford stores also have been recognized with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications at different levels.

    Improvements to store design and equipment have reduced energy use – and the environmental impact of that use – by millions of dollars a year. Heat generated by refrigeration systems such as the one at the Turner Hannaford is recaptured to help warm the store. Hannaford stores recycle far more material and generate much less waste than the typical supermarket.

    HHorning, Delhaize America Director of Equipment Purchasing, Maintenance & Energy – North; Turner Store Manager KKuusela, Hannaford District 2 Director of Operations Bernie Ouellette and Tom Land, the GreenChill Partnership at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


    Hannaford is proud of the work done by the Engineering team by bringing this CO2 refrigeration system to Hannaford because it represents one more way to keep costs and prices down for customers while we help safeguard the environment.

    Thumbs up for Turner Hannaford!