FALL IN LOVE WITH VEGETABLES
Why vegetables? Why natural? Why fresh?
Seasons excite me! They guide me and before I decide what to cook, I always start with what is seasonally available. The first lesson in cooking is to get your hands on the best ingredients you can afford, and when it comes to fresh vegetables, it’s always better to buy local and seasonal.
I am not about wearing a label about your food choices, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or eating meat. There is a universal emphasis on incorporating more vegetables into our diets. A plant-based whole-foods approach incorporates a wide variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables into everyday eating, combined with whole grains. This is how I eat and have been eating for the last 15years. I believe that this approach forms a healthy and solid foundation to which diary and meat can be added.
I am guided by the seasons and I get so much joy from the first harvest of a new season when it arrives in my weekly fresh produce basket. There is nothing better than a rainbow of young tender asparagus; shiny, smooth aubergine; bright orange butternut; or fat, juicy, organic strawberries in there natural season.
One of the best bits about eating seasonally is that you don’t have to be a brilliant cook to make a delicious tasting meal, the farmer and mother nature has done a lot of the hard work for you!
New with veg? My top 5 easy recipes …
It is fair to say than no one wants to go around eating and drinking chemicals on a daily basis, why do we as consumers, think it’s acceptable to allow it in our food? We are very removed from our food in terms of how it is grown, the soil that it is grown in, how its been looked after while in the soil, harvested and then packaged.
The impact of sourcing fresh, organic and seasonal produce will have a profound effect on the meals you serve. It will undoubtedly be healthier, but it will also taste better, and in the long term it’s your little bit to help save our planet.
Avoiding all chemicals is impossible but we can reduce our daily amount – and it is easier than you think. I am a passionate supporter of organic food because I feel that putting natural ingredients into our bodies can only be good for us. Why buy imported or out-of-season tomatoes that’s been chemically treated to “survive” a season or a transatlantic journey?
Organic means natural, it is not expensive and it is readily available. It means that food has been allowed to grow as mother nature intended it and in harmony with nature. By encouraging regenerative farming practices and avoiding chemicals the farmers are looking after the soil and it this soil where we get our nutrients from. Ethical farming practices, whether rearing animals or planting food ensures you are getting the best into your body. I am also realistic and know that I can’t only buy organic/natural all the time. But I do know that if I consistently make good choices whenever I can it will have a greater impact over the long term.
Its the consistently good choices that will have the biggest impact on your well being.
Cooking with raw, unprocessed, seasonal ingredients requires a little bit of time, planning and a few basic skills.
I believe that the more you know about HOW, WHERE and in some cases by WHOM your vegetables are grown, the greater your confidence, enthusiasm and willingness will be to invest more time in your kitchen and your wellbeing. By learning some basic cooking skills you will get better in the kitchen, spend less money on stuff you don’t need, you will eat better and you will feel better.
I truly believe that cooking from scratch – sourcing, cleaning and preparing your raw, fresh produce should be a life skill and a way of life.
Find out more about the kitchen cleanse to start cooking in a new way.
The way we farm, cook and eat has changed exponentially over the past 20 years. The world is mass producing food at an alarming rate putting tremendous pressure on our land and water resources. By making the supply chain of our food shorter, we can change this. But it means we have to think differently at how we buy and consume our food.
We need to reposition the role food plays in our lives and how we get it on our plates. To do this we have to support smaller and local producers and farmers who seek quality over quantity, and who are producing food by using ethical and sustainable farming practices.
I am not out to point out the wrongs of our supermarkets or even criticise large commercial farmers. My goal is to make the alternative more attractive and approachable and provide you with enough information for you to make your own, and hopefully, better, healthier and tastier choices.
Take a few baby steps with me and start your own journey of falling in love with vegetables.