Superfoods, gluten free, the slow food movement, foraging, biodynamic and functional foods … There’s a long and ever expanding list of new foodie words with very healthy intentions affecting the daily food choices we make.
In fact, the food renaissance has well and truly planted itself firmly in our day-to-day lives, with organic foods readily available, local farmers’ markets flourishing and a move away from supermarkets’ pre-packaged foods. Adios, ready-made meals, premium priced bagged-to-serve lettuce, hormone-packed poultry and meats, polystyrene packed sliced mushrooms and preservative-pumped foods.
It’s a nutritious move in the right direction, of course, but saying bye-bye to fast and convenient foods for healthier options is putting pressure on already stressed people to source local foods and prepare nutritious, mouth-watering home-cooked dishes for the family every night of the week.
So how can modern parents have a ‘chemical-free perfectly baked superfood cake’ for the family and eat it too? If we want to eat the best, we need to use fresh, additive-free quality ingredients, and prepare and cook foods in ways that ensure they maintain their nutrients and vitamins. And most importantly, are time efficient and wallet friendly!
Here’s how to do it …
Be a smart hunter and gatherer: Buy and grow locally
There are so many food choices now. We can eat gluten free, source and identify local produce easily, and most importantly make our meals from scratch using fresh, preservative-free ingredients to ensure nutrition content is maintained throughout the preparation and cooking process.
Buying locally – or growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables in your backyard or balcony – is easy and the benefits are plentiful. For a start, your carbon footprint on the environment is seriously reduced, which can also save you pretty penny on food transport and handling costs. It also means your imported frozen berries/asparagus/lettuce haven’t been sprayed with unknown chemicals and driven/sailed/flown thousands of kilometres before being refrigerated for months and finally landing in your fridge. But most importantly, sourcing locally produced goods ensures you’re eating seasonally fresh, nutrient-rich produce straight from the farm – or baker, butcher or artisan – and supporting local industry.
Growing your own herbs, fruit and veggies is obviously the easiest and most convenient option – and a guarantee no pesticides have been sprayed on your succulent tomatoes and apples. But with farmers’ markets and ‘green’ grocers growing in numbers, it’s easier to access seasonal, organic and biodynamic food direct from farmers and producers (and cut out the middleman’s fees).
Prepare well! Eat fresh, vitamin-rich foods
We all want to prepare quality, fresh foods in our kitchen, but who has the time and skills? Well, here’s the thing – it doesn’t need to be a time-constraining or complicated exercise. Using a smart (and stylish!) benchtop stand mixer that’s multi-functional will make your life so much easier while giving you control over the creative process and every ingredient you and your family are consuming. No hidden nasties because you choose the ingredients.
One smart stand mixer that comes with a few key clever attachments, such as a wire whisk, flat beater, dough hook, bowl and pouring shield, is all it takes to produce fresh, quality, preservative-free ingredients with ease, time efficiency, quality results, and the freshest taste. And it requires minimal benchtop space!
Or, customise your attachments to your family’s favourite meals. Mix up your dough and make homemade pasta using a pasta roller and spaghetti cutter attachment in minutes – right in front of the kids’ eyes. Make fresh mince – coarse, medium or fine – using a multi-food grinder or whizz up fresh pesto and grate parmesan using a slicer grater ready for your bolognaise.
The options are fast and limitless. You can make fresh, preservative-free and cost effective nut milk in a flash before straining straight into your glass. Use a slicer grater attachment to slice up cabbage and serve coleslaw in seconds. Mash your vegetables with ease and pull your pork or shred your chicken for delicious Sunday roast or mid-week lunch sandwiches with a multi-grinder attachment.
Fresh, nutrient-rich, preservative and chemical free food preparation in a flash. Genius.
Cook smart (and reclaim your time!)
Modern parents are busy. All day, and often all night, too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the slow food movement (with easy cooking solutions) and all the healthy benefits of home cooking. The solution is in how food is cooked. Enter Thermoseal – a cooking technology developed by SMEG’s Italian engineers to improve the flavour of food.
Without getting too technical, Smeg’s Thermoseal technology creates a perfectly controlled cooking cavity with corner to corner even browning – no hot spots or tray rotation required. The proof is in your perfectly baked pudding, succulent roasts that retain their natural juices and nutrients, light and crispy pastries and evenly browned Brandy ‘snaps’. The energy-efficient Venturi atmospheric control also prevents cold air from entering the cavity during cooking, ingeniously allowing excess moisture (from foods with a high water content) to escape into the cooling system. The result? Hands-free cooking. Just set the timer and forget (or go and do a yoga class). When the bell goes, your food is cooked evenly, exactly the way it’s intended every time. Delicious, nutritious family meals minus the stress, fuss and time.
You can also reclaim time spent cleaning the oven. Look for self-cleaning ovens with the Vapour Clean function and easy wipe-down surfaces such as Ever Clean enamel.
Tasting is believing, so the best way to discover how a Smeg Thermoseal oven cooks so well is to join a free Smeg product demonstration and taste for yourself! Demonstrations are available in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. See www.smeg.com.au/smeg-product-demonstration/ for more information or contact Smeg in your area www.smeg.com.au.