love food hate waste

Eat well, save money!

If you’re anything like us, you probably love food and hate waste. There are some quite shocking statistics out there about how much food is wasted every year. Last year, waste and recycling advisory body Wrap published a report which indicated that (when it comes to food) each UK family wastes over £470 every year. That translates to 7.3m tonnes of food, most of which could have been salvaged! This is especially shocking when you consider it comes at a time when both the use of food banks, and the number of families living below the poverty line, are rising.

Luckily, our collective consciousness is now well and truly tuned into this sad state of affairs. The government, supermarkets and independent food vendors now offer us lots of tips and tricks to make sure that we get the most out of the food that we purchase.

Good health, good planning

When it comes to shellfish, this is easy. If you start with the proviso that for good health, vitamins and long chain-omega-3 fatty acids, you should be eating two portions of fish a week, that’s a great basis for menu planning. And additionally, shellfish is low in fat and an excellent source of selenium, zinc, iodine and copper.

So far, so healthy. And there’s more good news. Today, seafood is very accessible. Because of its provenance, shellfish is often frozen. And frozen shellfish is available from all supermarkets,  large and small. Fresh or frozen, it’s quite easy to gauge portion size for yourself and your family. And although we’re eating more and more seafood in general and shellfish in particular, these days seafood is still regarded as something of a treat, which generally means clean plates at the end of every meal.

Even if you do have leftovers, some menu planning means that your wastage will be nil. With a little care, your leftover shellfish will be as tasty and full of flavour for future use as possible.

  1. Rule number one with shellfish is to ensure that all leftovers are quickly refrigerated.
  2. Rule number two, don’t freeze them. Ice crystals will strip your cooked shellfish of its remaining flavour.
  3. Rule number three, take any leftover shellfish out of the shell before you pop it in the fridge; if you leave the shell on, the flavour can become too strong and spoil the delicate taste you expect.

So far, so delicious

So how do you use your shellfish leftovers? First off, eat them within two days of refrigerating. How you do that can be as simple or as complex as you want. Is there anything more delicious that a chilled cooked langoustine, straight from the fridge, dipped in hollandaise sauce? Or you can make soups, omelettes or salads with leftover mussels, prawns or crab. Mix your shellfish leftovers with mayonnaise for a delicious sandwich filling. Or try them with a cream sauce for an elegant starter. If you pop your leftover shellfish in at the absolute last minute, there’s no chance you’ll over cook them or spoil the texture. Less is more when it comes to shellfish.

Scottish shellfish recipes

We’ve got lots of great recipes you can try with your leftover shellfish. Have a look here for yourself. We’ve also handpicked a few for you too:

Your fishmonger or local market stall should be able to give you more ideas on how to cook your shellfish including your leftovers. And if you are especially creative and come up with your own recipes, please feel free to share them with us and spread the shellfish love!

shellfish farming A proud tradition

Traditional healthy fare

Historically, shellfish was the food of the masses, but today it’s often regarded as a delicacy. And because of the relative rarity of consumption, some regard shellfish with suspicion. But seafood in general and shellfish in particular give us oils and vitamins which can help reduce heart disease, and they’re an important part of a healthy diet.

Genuine fast food

Our reluctance to eat shellfish is partly because we don’t know how to prepare it at home.  Shellfish is a genuine fast food which requires little effort to prepare. And there’s evidence that this message is beginning to hit home.

An upward trend

Although production of shellfish varies every year (due to weather, market prices and poor growth) statistics show that the shellfish industry in Scotland (dominated by mussels, scallops and oysters) is growing. In 2016, for example mussel production increased by six per cent, pacific oysters are up by 31% from 2015, and queen scallop production has increased by a staggering 370% in the same period. The Scottish shellfish industry itself is valued at £11.7m. (Source: Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2016)

Sustainable Scottish fishing

Today, Scotland leads the way in sustainable fishing practices. Most seafood is farmed rather than hand-picked, although the mussels themselves are cultivated or rope-grown, and no additives or feed are used. Ropes are set up in a carefully selected clean water area and the mussels attach themselves to the ropes, to be harvested a few years later. Celebrity chef Jean Claude Novelli describes Scottish mussels farmed in Shetland as "the best in the world".

A family business

Traditionally, shellfish farming is a family business. Often established in remote coastal areas where employment opportunities were limited. Shellfish can’t be farmed intensively, cultivation requires specialist skills, sometimes honed over generations. Today there are nearly 200 shellfish farming businesses in Scotland, many of which are still family run.

Working together

Despite the focus on family-run businesses, our shellfish farmers often work together to market and sell their products at agreed prices.  These co-operatives keep marketing prices down, and the market buoyant and healthy.

The personal touch

Although we work together with a number of different farmers, we still believe in the personal touch.  All of our produce can be traced back to its original source. Our shellfish farmers are based on the west coast of Scotland and on Shetland, and their oysters, mussels and scallops have their own unique qualities depending on the skills and methods used and the farm itself. Our individual farmers’ stories contribute overall to the history of Scottish shellfish and are an important part of our own story. Click here to read our farmers' stories.

Next time you’re considering what to cook for a simple weekday supper, why not eschew the traditional pizza or spaghetti bolognaise and try mussels or scallops instead? We have lots of great recipes on our website which are quick and easy to prepare, and much healthier for you.

Shellfish and Guinness

Scottish Shellfish and Guinness? With the exception of oysters, perhaps it’s not the most obvious choice. But sometimes the most surprising combinations can be the most delicious…

Celtic connections

As St Patrick’s Day looms, it’s not just Celtic connections that we Scots and Irish share. We both have a long history of making the most of our natural produce, and exporting our proud traditions.

Guinness

One proud Irish tradition is the brewing of Guinness. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of Guinness. Originally brewed in Dublin in 1759, it’s the national tipple.  What you may not know is that (unlike other stouts or dark beers) Guinness is proven to have some health-giving qualities. The anti-oxidants it contains can help reduce blood clots and the risk of heart attacks.

A healthy and delicious combination

At a time when we’re bombarded with ever-more confusing dietary advice, it’s good to know that the health benefits of shellfish are also undisputed. Scottish shellfish and Guinness is a healthy and surprisingly delicious combination. So, why not push the boat out this St Patrick’s Day and try it for yourself? You don’t even need to go out to eat; there are lots of great shellfish recipes which you can wash down with a pint of the famous dark beer.

The ultimate fast food

Lots of people associate shellfish with high days and holidays. It’s certainly true that a brace of fresh oysters, a feast of tangy brown crabmeat or the taste of world-renowned lobster are an undeniable treat. But the seas and sea lochs of our west coast give us an embarrassment of riches when it comes to shellfish. Which means you don’t need to think of them only as a luxury, they’re more accessible than you think.

And as shellfish by their very nature require minimal cooking, they are the ultimate fast food. Why not consider making them an integral part of your diet? There are lots of simple, delicious recipes on our website. Whether you want to cook mussels, oysters, langoustines, crab or lobster – you’ll find something healthy, delicious and quick on our recipes page.

Unusual combinations

Don’t be afraid to try some more of our unusual and delicious combinations. Mussels for example lend themselves to a surprising variety of beverages such as white beer, prosecco, and even gin and tonic.  We’re continually adding to the recipes on our site, so check back every week for the latest combinations which are surprisingly easy to make.

Remember to drink responsibly. Happy St Patrick’s Day. Cheers!

Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac

Casanova’s breakfast choice

Valentine’s Day is upon us!  Now is the time to plan a special meal that will tantalise your loved one. Oysters the well-known aphrodisiac, purportedly increasing the libido of all who eat them. In fact, Casanova is said to have started his day with 50 of these delicious bivalves! But did you know that plenty of other shellfish have the same sexy quality?

Shellfish the natural aphrodisiac!

A true aphrodisiac, increases sexual potency in men and desire in women.  With some cultures claiming that they also contribute to improved fertility. While all claims to unparalleled desire must be taken with a small pinch of salt, there is indeed truth to the idea that oysters and other shellfish are good for a boost.

Power of Zinc

Help comes in the form of zinc, in which oysters, mussels, and other molluscs are particularly high. Low levels of zinc can contribute to diminished libido, as can low levels of testosterone. Zinc triggers the release of testosterone in each sex, which will give both men and women that burst of energy they are looking for on February 14th!

Spoil your other half

Even without the chemical evidence, there’s something to be said for preparing a tasty meal and surprising your partner. Delicate flavours from the best sources in the world, can’t fail to earn you brownie points.  Cooking a treat of a meal for your lover is better than serving up all the outlandish aphrodisiacs in the world.

Valentine recipes

Half a dozen oysters, freshly shucked and served with a squeeze of lemon, or a dash of Tabasco if you like it hot; lobster with lashings of butter; a bottle of crisp white wine, all taken by candlelight and soft music playing in the background. Now that sounds like the ideal way to show your other half just how much they mean to you, and any nutritional benefits are just a happy plus-point.

Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac

In recent years there have been many TV adverts and health promotions highlighting how important Omega 3 fatty acids are for our health. How they are particularly good for your brain, but what are the other benefits?

Fatty Acids

Omega 3 is also known as ‘fatty acids’, but don’t be fooled by the description, we need healthy fats in our diets to keep our brains working.  Omega-3’s also serve to cut cholesterol, which is fantastic news for your heart.  It is suggested that even one portion of shellfish per week can reduce the chances of a heart attack by 10%!

Benefits

The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids extend to almost every area of health. Pregnant women may want to give their babies a boost by including them in their diet.  This will improve vision and even intelligence in the babies while they are still in the womb. Adults will gain benefits too, because including Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet has been shown to help with memory loss and even depression.

Shellfish & Omega 3

Shellfish are high in Omega 3’s which means a healthy heart, a healthy brain, and healthy bones.  All from just one to two delicious shellfish additions to your weekly meal routine.

What’s not to love about shellfish?  Find out if all shellfish are good for you here.

oysters for the poor

It’s hard to believe that oysters used to be considered a peasants’ food. Barrels of ice and freshly shucked oysters were to be found on London street corners, and pubs served them up with pints as a snack.

Cheap and sustainable

The reason for the popularity of these tasty bivalves was the low-price point, a result of the ease in which they grow naturally. As filter feeders, they help to keep the water around them clear and sweet.  Meaning that even the farmed variety are sustainable and ecologically sound.

The Oyster, An aphrodisiac?

As popularity increased, so did the price.  This meant that often they were a treat enjoyed on special occasions. The reputation of oysters as an aphrodisiac grew, and they began to be associated with Valentine’s Day.

While there are no special qualities that are specifically good for this sort of celebration, oysters contain plenty of zinc.  Zinc is an energy booster that creates a feel-good mood, thus the connection between oysters and amore!

Other health benefits

Oysters (along with most other shellfish) are also high in iron, selenium, calcium, and vitamins including A, C, and B12.  Which means that including a couple in your weekly diet is one of the easiest possible ways to make sure you get your recommended dosage of health boosting minerals and vitamins.

Oyster serving suggestions

Low in calories and fat but high in protein, oysters should not continue to be relegated to the starter menu.  A dozen just-shucked oysters sprinkled with tabasco, mignonette, or simple lemon is a sure-fire way to get the taste buds tingling and satisfy hearty appetites. For those that prefer their molluscs warm, serve them grilled with butter and cream for a fulfilling option.

The delicate flavour of the sea comes through no matter what your favourite method happens to be. What’s more, oysters can be paired with a deliciously crisp white wine or a sturdy stout. Easy to prepare, a friend to all accompaniments, and healthy beyond belief.

Oysters really are the wonder-food that has been right under our noses all this time!

health benefits of shellfish

Last month we told you all about the health benefits of mussels but what are the health benefits of all shellfish?

  • Extra energy
  • Glowing skin
  • Healthy heart

To name a few, it’s hard to beat shellfish.

Shellfish are full of nutrients, minerals, and those excellent omega-3s. They are quick, easy and (above all) a delicious way to improve your diet. It's recommended you have 2 portions of fish a week.

Scottish Shellfish – On your doorstep!

Luckily, in Scotland we have a wide array of choice, and you can be sure that whatever you choose the journey from sea to plate is as quick as can be. All you should do is look forward to including fresh, delicate shellfish in your new favourite recipes.

Mussels, oysters, crab and lobster are extremely low in fat and high in protein which is good news for anybody hoping to lose weight without forgoing flavour.  A portion of shellfish will leave you feeling full and satisfied, all without sacrificing the calories.

What can I eat with shellfish?

The options are endless, but the classics are always a winner:

  • Mussels in white wine
  • Lobster with a little lemon
  • Crab and avocado salad
  • Oysters with a touch of tabasco

What could be more mouth-watering, while still being so very good for you?

Additional Benefits  

If the above isn’t reason enough to tuck into some tasty Scottish shellfish, they also contain zinc, copper, magnesium and iron, all necessary minerals that will improve health overall.  Iron deficiencies can leave you feeling tired and weak, so making sure to take in enough is a great way to boost energy levels, naturally.

Shellfish for dinner?

With such versatile, tempting produce available on our doorstep, fresh and sweet and ready for your recipes, it is almost a crime to ignore Scottish shellfish! With all the above benefits it’s surely time to add more mussels, oysters, crab and lobster to your diet?

Mussels

Mussels are an under-appreciated wonder food. Full of vitamins and minerals, high in protein and low in fat.  It is a wonder these culinary stars are not more of a staple in the British diet. However, with more information about the health benefits of mussels than ever before, it’s starting to change. Top nutritionists and fitness professionals have started to explore how the simple mussel boosts physical health.

Health Benefit 1 - High Protein and Low Fat

Seafood (shellfish in particular) is high in protein and low in fat. This is great news for anyone on a calorie restricted diet, as it shows it’s possible to enjoy exciting meals that are healthy without sacrificing flavour. There is no need for fat, as steaming or boiling with a few herbs or white wine is the best way to prepare a tasty mussel dish.

Health Benefit 2 - Iron & Protein

For those who enjoy a high-protein intake, mussels offer a welcome break from steak. Not only are they better for the environment (as they are ecologically friendly and easy to farm) they also offer levels of protein and iron that rival that of red meat.  An increase in protein and iron intake boosts mood, energy levels, and even complexion.  A fantastic outcome from introducing mussels to your weekly diet!

Health Benefit 3 - High in Vitamins A & B12

Vitamin A is excellent for the skin, eyes and immune system. While B12 is an essential vitamin that only naturally occurs in animal products. B12 deficiency can lead to problems with heart health and anaemia, among other complications, and is important for overall health. Make sure you get the recommended daily allowance from dairy products, eggs, and, of course, sources such as shellfish and mussels.

Health Benefit 4 - Improves Brain Function

Mussels contribute to circulatory health and energy levels.  Are brilliant for improving brain function and reducing inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.

Health Benefit 5 - Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The heart benefits from a reduction in the risk of heart attack due to those all-important Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are vital, and have all sorts of health benefits that should not be overlooked.

Why Mussels?

Mussels are one of the most well-rounded foods to include in your diet, high in zinc, iron and other minerals, vitamins A and B12. A fantastic source of protein, low in calories and low in fat. Prepared in a classic moules marinière or in a more adventurous Thai curry, or simply steamed. No matter how they are eaten, rest assured they are a delicious and healthy choice.

Healthy Benefits Mussels