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Healthy Lifestyle Blog: Eating From Scratch

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

I’m lucky that when growing up, I was always surrounded by fresh fruit, veg, meat and fish. Seasons were dictated by what we ate; barbecues in the summer, usually sardines with salad and then watermelon and figs for dessert, followed by my father’s warning to wait two hours before we jumped in the pool again so we wouldn’t get indigestion. Mum was in charge of weekend meals in the winter, usually roast leg of lamb, duck, rabbit or whatever meat the butcher thought we might enjoy that weekend. Strawberries were bought by the crateful around April and usually submerged in the neighbouring bowl of whipped cream!

Unfortunately, the increase in globalisation has resulted in a loss of seasonal products. On the one hand, it’s great you can buy strawberries in February but they’re expensive, lack taste and come with hefty food miles! Also, don’t forget the pesticides and chemicals that ensure they (the strawberries) make the arduous journey across the globe. There are plenty of other seasonal options to strawberries! My favourite is Bramely apple crumble! For a twist I add rhubarb (which is at its best around March) and serve with homemade custard, vanilla ice cream or double cream. It’s simple and super fast, can be left in the oven whilst you eat your main meal and is just as good reheated the next day, theoretically that is, as there isn’t usually much left when I make it.

Rhubarb, Aubergine and Raddichio from the greengrocers

Many people think that eating seasonal, local and organic produce is challenging and expensive. I promise you, “cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye” (I haven’t!) that you can eat local and organic, without plunging into your overdraft. You just need to be organised and have an adventurous and imaginative culinary spirit. I try to go shopping on a Saturday and head down to the green grocers and butchers in Headingley, buying everything I might need, according to my meal plan, for the week. I tend to buy fish at the market in the city centre as there is greater variety. Every 2nd  Saturday of the month, I make sure I visit Headingley Farmer’s Market, right outside the Arc. It’s only small, but there’s a great variety of local produce to choose from and vendors are always helpful if you’re not sure how to cook something. Another idea is to find out when big supermarkets display all their reduced items – usually towards the end of the day and you can buy a lot of organic produce at half the price!


Chicory, roast tomato and Jerusalem artichoke salad with halloumi cheese

I do really enjoy cooking and most of the time make everything from scratch, even pastry! I do admit though that there are times where I’m a little stuck for ideas or bored of eating the same thing. In situations like this, sites such as Food52 and foodgawker , as well as the long list of food blogs I follow, are great sources for inspiration! Also, don’t dismiss going old school and picking up a recipe book – there are so many beautifully written cookbooks out there now! My most recent acquisition is Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, I bought it yesterday and made my dinner from it today!




An update on the no-poo challenge – it’s driving me insane. If any of you have lovely messages of support/encouragement, now would be the time to share!


All are mine