10 new ways to eat clean for Spring
We’re always hungry – especially for the newest, tastiest ways to help you feed your body the good stuff.
A new lighter, brighter season means new food and renewed dertermination to eat that little bit better. So, in the spirit of giving our routines a #HealthySpringClean we’ve scoured the food world, siphoned off the fads and ran our favourites past expert nutritionists to bring you Healthy‘s predictions for the 10 most nourishing things to crunch, chew, sip and savour in the coming months.
Not sure what amaranth actually is or how you could possibly make a cauliflower exciting? We’ve added our own easy-to-do twist on each trend. But by all means, get your freekeh on however you see fit.
1 Ancient grains
Spelt, barley, farro, millet and amaranth… grains are having a moment. Chef Yotam Ottolenghi declared them a ‘very cheap way to eat well’ in his book, Plenty More (Ebury Press, £27). Some of the old varieties are gluten-free, too.
DIY Swap oats for a malty-tasting amaranth porridge. Mix chewy farro with petit pois to bulk out salad, or serve millet as you would couscous.
2 Faster smoothies
Which A-lister wasn’t spotted with a to-go cup of something green last year? The Hemsley sisters, authors of The Art Of Eating Well (Ebury Press, £25), make theirs ‘in minutes, with instant green powder’.
Good for you Full of superfoods like spirulina, wheatgrass and chlorella, and veggies like kale and spinach, green powders get a thumbs up from the experts. ‘A condensed version of those veg, powder is an easy way to add them to your diet,’ says nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik. You only need two to three teaspoons per serving, so it’s a much cheaper way to do green juice: just add water!
DIY Drink your green juice first thing on an empty stomach; the nutrients will be absorbed rapidly. And wait at least an hour before drinking coffee, as its acidity will harm the juice’s beneficial effects.
3 VIP vegetables
Good for you Cutting back on meat three days a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9000 from cancer and save the NHS £1.2 billion a year, says an Oxford University study.
DIY Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice on beetroot, sprinkle on some pistachios and serve steamed kale and spelt on the side.
Photography: Nicole Franzen photography | Pinterest
We’ve got the message: protein isn’t just for muscle-men. ‘Bespoke biltong and beef jerky will be the snack of choice for protein,’ says food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye. Eggs are back in fashion, too, especially varieties like quail’s eggs.
Good for you Think protein-rich for snacks, as it slows the speed at which carbs enter your system, boosting energy. Whether it’s shakes, seed bars or biltong, regular hits of protein is good news.
DIY Mix three tablespoons each of sugar-free peanut butter, ground flaxseed and dark choc chips, with one scoop of whey powder. Roll into 10 balls; chill to firm up.
5 Brunch like an Aussie
Inspiration comes from down under, led by Aussie chef Bill Granger, whose relaxed brunches at restaurant Granger & Co have Londoners queuing around the block. And the trend that started with 2014’s much-copied avocado-on-toast definitely isn’t going away any time soon.
Good for you Aussie brunch is low on refined sugar and starchy carbs and heavy on good fats. Coconut oil, often used for frying, is thought to raise good cholesterol levels.
DIY Roll boiled eggs in sesame seeds and smoked paprika with coconut-sautéed kale.
Photography: theroastedroot.net | Pinterest
6 Cold-pressed oils
Made by a mix of low heat and grinding, these oils are big news. River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall favours hemp seed oil-drizzled toast.
Good for you Our choice? Avocado oil: a great source of healthy fats. A study in the Journal Of Nutrition found it upped the absorption levels of health-boosting antioxidants like betacarotene in a salad up to 15 times.
DIY Buttery almond oil is great for dunking a hunk of sourdough bread in, or drizzling over a zingy tomato soup for added richness.
7 More coconuts
First the water, then the oil, now it’s coconut sugar’s time to shine. And it’s got the thumbs up from our Dr Oz.
Good for you ‘We’ve a better understanding of how the body handles different sugars,’ Dr Gaye says. ‘Coconut sugar is natural, has a low GI [35 compared to 68 for regular sugar] and tastes good.’
DIY Its dark, earthy flavour makes it perfect for baking, so give your brownie recipe a low-GI makeover.Read more: How to bake without refined sugar
Photography: Gourmandeinthekitchen.com | Pinterest
8 Waste-free cuisine
The UK’s first 100 per cent waste-free restaurant, Silo in Brighton – where chefs use up all scraps and recycle all waste, while receipts are emailed to customers – has paved the way for zero-waste eateries. Expect offal and cheaper cuts of meat, like braised short ribs, on menus.
Good for you Leave fruit and veg unpeeled for a more nutrient-dense smoothie; even hairy kiwi peelings are full of vitamin E. At the butchers, ask for cheaper cuts: kidneys have as much protein as steak.
DIY Toss two tablespoons of chopped orange peel into chilli for a hit of d-limonene, a compound that may protect against skin cancer, reports the journal Nutrition And Cancer.
9 Cauliflower power
Ottolenghi has given this veggie a starring role in his new plant-based cook book, food bloggers are using it to reinvent carb-laden classics like pizza and the internet is full of recipes for cauliflower steak – any way you like it.Read more: Sarah Wilson’s cauliflower pizza
Good for you It contains cancer-fighting chemical sulforaphine, which may lower blood pressure, reports the The American Journal Of Hypertension. Another study in Carcinogenesis suggests it could help reduce breast tumours. Plus, 100g provides our 40mg RDA for vitamin C.
DIY For a gluten-free tabbouleh, grate cauliflower until it resembles bulgur wheat, mix in chopped onion, parsley and top with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
10 Time for tea
Good for you Proper tea, derived from one plant, Camellia sinensis, has four varieties: green, black, white and oolong, and is packed with antioxidants. Sip green tea and you could help bust the pounds – a 2010 review of 15 studies found it’s the catechins in green tea and caffeine that help to trim your waistline.
DIY Find a tea that you love so much it doesn’t require a baked goodie on the side – like naturally sweet white tea or spicy chai.
Got your own suggestions for new ways to eat clean? Tweet us @healthymag and share your simple, healthy tips using #HealthySpringClean