One thing I discovered a few years ago by keeping a food diary was that we didn’t have enough fruit and veg in our diet, fresh or otherwise.
Sure, I had the usual things like sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli in the freezer plus tins of peas and carrots in the cupboard, and we did have a bramley apple tree in the garden with loads of hedgerows locally to gather blackberries and elderberries to go with them, but that was about it.
We rectified the veg shortfall by digging over a veg plot and planting carrots (useless), swede (our single pride and joy was eaten by a visiting friend’s dog), and some turnipy type things called kohlrabi, which we didn’t actually like very much.
As you can gather, our original choices therefore weren’t our best, so in subsequent years we switched to tomatoes (felt like thousands), potatoes (still digging them up year after year), onions (99% success rate), runner beans (mountains), and later rhubarb as our windmill friend gave us a root when clearing out his garden.
We also discovered we had two elderberry trees and a plum tree at the bottom of the garden when they suddenly decided to bear fruit. We purchased three strawberry plants at a local school fete and they produced a fair amount, although the biggest and juiciest was lost to a cheeky blackbird who reverse dive bombed it (ie attacked from underneath) after we netted the tub.
These days, I tend to buy prepacked salads for me, raw carrots, mushrooms and onions as a matter of course, and loads of fresh veg for our stews.
I’m not really an apple or orange fan so I go for the more expensive fruit for my desserts. Kiwis, pineapple, raspberries, peaches, strawberries, melon, bananas, grapes and the occasional pear can all find their way into my salad bowl to be accompanied by quark or just a sprinkling of granola cereal for that little bit of crunch, topped with cinnamon. Dried apricots can be my B option, or I can have them at one syn each. I cut them up so that they look more!
Hubby has been having problems with his digestive system which is currently under investigation and so far all possible thoughts have come back negative. So by a process of elimination we have been trying to find the cause, which can only be something I cook, the way I cook it or something we buy. We have already kicked into touch certain fast foods.
We have ascertained that generous spice or herb additives to whatever dish is partly to blame so now I don’t normally use them, unless it’s for a curry in which case I no longer add turmeric. In contrast, yoghurt, even the plain variety, seems to be another no-no for him, as is too much fruit, so he may have half a banana on his cereal or perhaps eat a couple of apricots or handful of grapes for nibbles. Porridge is good for both of us it seems.
At the moment, I am really enjoying fruit salads of varying sizes and content depending on whether it’s for breakfast, dessert, or a snack meal.
However, Hubby is still having his favourites like spaghetti bolognese (recently using pork mince instead of beef as (a) it’s cheaper at the moment and (b) it’s only 5% fat which is good for me!), McCheese and curry. None of these appear to affect him, and if he has a jacket spud, beans, cheese or mushrooms are equally OK.
I’ve had one of the JW infusion range with mine and intend to get a few more of the salmon ones whilst they’re still on special offer!
This last one is the JW Salmon and teriyaki, just one syn for the tin and it’s really tasty.