THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan12

5 Best Cookbooks for Healthy Eating

January 2017 and already the gym is filling up, people shopping the sales are discussing juices instead of cakes and Veganuary has entered the British lexicon.

Healthy eating is on the mind and here at Modern Mint we want to help inspire you to make the most of the food you eat.

Best Cookbooks for Healthy Eating

On our shelves we keep things simple, with just these 5 books for inspiration.

Skye Gyngell – A Year in My Kitchen

Sarah Raven – Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook

Michael Pollan – Cooked

Diana Henry – Simple

Tracey Lawson – A Year in the Village of Eternity

Do you have any of these on your book shelf?

Problems with these Book Choices

You might be thinking – what is Michael Pollan’s ‘Cooked’ doing in this list? Hardly a recipe book! Quite right you are too. But what we love about each of these books, why we think they go together and give so much inspiration, is that they all make us think about the food we eat.

 

Broccoli

 

Here Is A Quote from ‘Cooked’:

“…the opportunity to produce something material and useful, something that contributes directly to the support of your own body (and that of your family and friends,) is a gratifying way to spend a little time – or a lot…”

Each author, whether providing us with a straightforward recipe or not, is asking us to take time with our food, to be a creator of something delicious. This is where the value lies in these book choices – that if you want to be healthier, then you need to know:

Where the food you eat comes from

How it is best used, in combination with other flavours and produce

Which season you will find this food at its best

Each writer, in their own way, is talking about food systems, local economies and producers, the nutrient value in each mouthful and the effect that has on your body.

They are talking about food from the landscape around us, not something ubiquitous but a cuisine that is idiosyncratic and rooted in the culture.

By promoting seasonal food, the basic guidelines will be in place for eating well, eating healthily – you will most likely be eating more vegetables, fruit and herbs, while they are at their most nutritious.

Cooking them simply using a pot, or an oven or a pan, you cannot fail to eat in a healthy way. Do this consistently, for one month, or three, or 6 and you will see the difference.

You will also notice how bad – how greasy, or how ‘dead’ – in comparison to your own cooking that some food is when you go out to a restaurant or a pub.

Freshness and seasonality, coveted by the authors of the cookbooks above, give you a better understanding of the food you eat.

To Eat This Way is Healthy

At home, we base our diet around a weekly vegetable box. It is organically grown. We cook with sea salt, some vinegars, some butter and olive oil, then add herbs, or grains and legumes, or cheese or some occasional fish to keep each meal interesting.

The five cookbooks listed above inspired us to eat this way, to think about our food and work with the seasons.

For healthy eating this January, we suggest reading them!

Buy These Healthy, Thoughtful Cookbooks Now

Skye Gyngell – A Year in My Kitchen

Sarah Raven – Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook

Michael Pollan – Cooked

Diana Henry – Simple

Tracey Lawson – A Year in the Village of Eternity

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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