Clean eating

I've seen a lot of articles recently about 'clean' eating. One post said that the trend started in the 1960s although it did not become mainstream until fifty years later. Another said that it's not a diet, but a new, healthy way of eating...

I researched further, and discovered that 'clean' eating is what I consider normal eating. It means using fresh ingredients, avoiding additives, and drinking plenty of water. That's how I grew up (in the 1960s....) and how we've always lived. Most of my friends do too. It's not that 'clean' eating began fifty years ago, but that the opposite - unclean living? - started perhaps a hundred years ago. Cooking from scratch (as they say in the United States) is the default, historically and also in the culture where I grew up.

I hadn't seen packets and jars of ready-mixes until I was in my teens.  I didn't even know that jam or mincemeat could be bought ready-made until I was about fifteen or sixteen. I had never eaten a cake made from a boxed 'mix' until I was in my thirties, and spent a couple of years in the US. I was offered several, and thought them all tasteless, other than having an unpleasantly chemical-like after-taste.

But since 'clean eating' is a current trend, I might as well jump on the bandwagon. This blog contains recipes that requires real ingredients. You won't find anything that asks for packets or jars or boxed mixes. I do admit to using ready-made frozen puff pastry on occasion, but that's not because I can't make it myself: it's because it's so much effort that I don't bother.

I welcome a trend that encourages organic foods where possible, buying fresh fruits and vegetables, using real herbs and spices. Whatever your dietary needs and wishes, whether omnivore, vegetarian, dairy-free, vegan or gluten-free, you will benefit from avoiding ready-made pre-processed foods and making your own.  Not only will you be healthier, and spend less money, but you'll find the real flavours so much nicer.

I didn't start making my own tomato ketchup until about five years ago, but once I started, I would never return to even the best of ready-made ketchup.  I occasionally drink some of my home-made lemonade; I don't touch commercial squashes or cordials.  Home made nut butters and nut milks are more nutritious and much less expensive than packaged equivalents.

I don't often go along with modern dietary trends; too many are short-lived and prove eventually to be unhealthy or unnecessary. But I am wholeheartedly in favour of clean eating.

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