Hole Food Family – Whole food recipes for a frugal family
‘Super food’, ‘Whole Food’ and ‘Clean Eating’ are all over the media at the moment! Personally I find the barrage of eating advise overwhelming, and often quite unhelpful. Truth is, advice is great, but what does it mean at 5pm, under pressure to feed a family, on an average Tuesday when you’ve forgotten to go to the supermarket that day? Not all of us can prioritise food, so we fall back on what we know, what we were bought up on and what takes 20 minutes in the microwave… And occasionally feel guilty when someone like me starts writing a food blog dedicated to the alternatives!
Let me be clear. My love of food comes from my upbringing in a single parent family. We lived on benefits and, aged 10, I remember adding up the food costs in the supermarket and putting back what we couldn’t afford. Food was bought, cooked and consumed with love. My mum brought pasta, fruit, veg, beans and lentils. Meat occasionally and snack foods never, because we couldn’t afford them.
I’ve grown up (partially) and got my own family now… and although we don’t live with the same budget constraints I grew up with, we do live with the same basic principles. Food is whole i.e. as nature intended, albeit canned (in the case of tomatoes and chickpeas) or dried (in the case of lentils). And it’s frugal. For example a roast chicken Sunday lunch, creates chicken stock for Monday’s risotto, and Arancini (rice balls) for Tuesday.
Top Tips for Frugal Food:
- Stale ends of bread whizzed up in a food processor with salt, pepper and mixed herbs and put in the freezer make super cheap (and nutritious) breadcrumbs.
- Bananas on the turn can be chopped and frozen. Add to milk in a food processor for a fab breakfast milkshake.
- Boil down bones and carcasses after a roast to create a delicious and nutritious meat stock that can be added to gravy, risottos or soups. Keeps in the fridge or can be frozen.
- Hersham has an abundance of blackberries in August, pick them and freeze them.
- Esher woods is loaded with wild garlic & chestnuts, although you have to be quick to beat the squirrels.
- Grow your own, especially the expensive stuff. A grow bag of home grown rocket costs a fraction of the price of the supermarket stuff!
Top Health tips:
- Choose organic if you can afford it, even if it’s just your meat or just your bread, not only will it encourage farming to change, but your body wont be processing the herbicides, pesticides, sugars, preservatives, etc… that so many packaged and mass produced foods are loaded with. Those additives are not there for our health.
- Read the label, it’s enlightening to know that many of the foods we consume on a daily basis are packed with preservatives, stabilisers, thickeners and sugar. If you make one switch from over processed bread to an organic loaf you’ll already be cutting back on the number of chemicals your body has to process.
- Meat-free Monday! And more if you can do it… It’ll save you money and give your body a welcome rest. Meat can be hard on digestion, especially if it’s a staple.
Top Tip of all – enjoy the process… calling halt to the demands of family and work and focussing for ½ hour on cooking can be really therapeutic, especially if taken with a glass of red wine (which I read recently was akin to a gym session… (don’t quote me it was huffington post))!
Recently we’ve started blogging our food, and it’s been amazing to have such incredible feedback from friends and further afield. For everyday family recipes that wont break the bank, are kind to your body (and ingredients found in Hersham/Walton) please visit the blog: https://holefood.wordpress.com and definitely, definitely share your feedback, tips and ideas!
You’ll also find our recipes on pintrest, twitter and Instagram @holefoodfamily.
We hope you enjoy the following recipe and look forward to bringing you many more!
Ingredients for the spiced plums:
1.5kg stoned plums, ours are damson plums from the garden. Free food is the best, and for a blackberry bounty than can be frozen visit Hersham Riverside during the last couple of weeks of August!
2 cinnamon sticks
Ground seeds from 10 cardamom pods
3 tbsp honey
Ingredients for the crumble:
100g wholemeal spelt flour (or wholemeal wheat flour) Spelt has a nuttier flavour and is easier to digest if wheat is a problem for you, but wheat is definitely cheaper!
100g light brown muscovado sugar
100g ground almonds
100g oats (whole or porridge oats are both fine)
3 tbsp coconut oil (for a vegan or vegetarian option) or salted butter / margarine if that’s what you have.
- Add the fruit, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds and honey to a large pan, stir and simmer for around 15 minutes or until the fruit is soft and mushy.
- Once cooked remove from the heat and add to an oven proof dish.
- Add the flour, sugar, almonds and oats to a mixing bowl and mix with the coconut oil or butter with your fingers until the flour resembles breadcrumbs or the oil or butter has been fully absorbed.
- Pour the crumble over the fruit and cook in a preheated oven at 200C for around 30 minutes.
Serve with greek yoghurt, custard or plain ice-cream for a delicious autum pudding. It’s great after a roast!
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