Smile with the last of the summer harvest?

I’m hoping that these were the end of the windfall cooking apples.   Although I can manage the peeling and coring, I need someone who can see to chop out the bruises etc.   Thanks to a glut of discount ramekins snapped up in France, the freezer is groaning with 14 individual crumbles (each topped with a dollop of homemade mincemeat  plus my patent crumble mix: 2 parts porridge oats to 1 part each butter, crushed hazelnuts and honey).   An indulgent apple cake (with nuts and dates) and boxes of puree to enliven breakfasts completed the work.

“Food for Mood” BBC radio broadcast caught my imagination: all about lifting depression with good eating.   Food for physical problems is familiar but what about for brains?   Fast food, junk food, processed food, added sugar, preservatives etc are attacked from all sides but may be the only option when we are working long hours, without time to shop or cook, on too tight a budget to choose.   But perhaps our diets caused by these lifestyle and economic stresses and strains are doing us more damage than we realise.   Does the drive for profit and spread of processed food across the world herald less happiness and more negative consequences?

Older people and disabled people may particularly have little choice if they are depending on ready-meals or other budget-conscious institutional fare.   When standing, negotiating equipment, juggling hot pans and more is too difficult and risky, we have to look elsewhere for our meals.   Its already depressing to lose independence, energy and fitness on top of an impairment.   But a poor-quality meal like the lamb slow cooked with dried soup mix as recommended by one disability charity sounds like more harm than good.  Perhaps too much processed food risks another layer of low mood.

The recommendations seem to be lots of variety: nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, beans and pulses plus meat and fish with the odd bit of dairy and carbohydrates thrown in with lashings of extra virgin olive oil.   A plateful of colour means an abundance of the elements that make us all tick.   A winter salad fits the bill: green beans, cucumber and pepper, red tomatoes, orange carrot, white celery and spring onion, yellow apple, some salad leaves, raisins and toasted pumpkin seeds, seasoned and all tossed in lemon juice and olive oil.

I started the Baking Blind venture to showcase the capabilities of people with disabilities.   But there may be another pressing need to help others like me to get back to the real food that makes us happy.   If you too have a long-term health condition or are looking after someone who has, check out the recipes on my website   They are straightforward, accessible and many have a video demo too.   And if a blind person can do it, others might too!

The next free on-line demo features a winter warner butternut squash soup and indulgent ginger cake – a varied diet can bring that smile!

Monday 14 November at 1030: register for free at:

© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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