Friday 2 December 2016

Spring clean your way to a healthier you

Getting her food kicks from social media allows Natasha Corrett share her love of healthy eating with the world

Published 05/05/2015 | 02:30

Natasha Corrett
Natasha Corrett
Pomegranate bircher muesli
Papaya salad
Roasted Asian miso aubergine

If you're giving your home a clear-out this spring, Natasha Corrett wants you to spare a thought for your kitchen.

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"We spring clean our wardrobes and chuck out all the old clothes we don't want to wear any more," says the chef and food blogger.

"I do a bit of a cull in my kitchen and find things I don't really need. The amount of times I've gone through my drawers and found measuring spoons broken in half, blunt knives..."

The author of the Honestly Healthy blog and cookbooks, offering tips and recipes for health-conscious foodies, Corrett knows a thing or two about kitchens. In fact, she's currently helping her mum, celebrity interior designer and former Dragons' Den investor Kelly Hoppen, to design the functionality of her new one.

Hoppen has been "an amazing mentor" to the chef, whose father is restaurateur Graham Corrett.

"My parents both started their businesses when they were 16. They've both worked very hard and instilled that in me," says the 31-year-old, who spent summer holidays working in her dad's restaurants.

"My mum said to me, 'As long as you're passionate about what you do, you'll succeed, because that's what's going to get you through those late nights and early mornings and working on the weekend', and she was right. You never want to say your mum's right, but she was!"

The pair work out of the same office in London, but Corrett insists it isn't too close for comfort.

"I'm always out and about, recipe-developing or filming, so it's maybe once every two weeks that we'll have lunch together," she says. "It's quite nice to have each other and have a cuddle if we're feeling stressed, stuff like that."

Corrett is an advocate of the alkaline diet, which involves eating mainly alkaline foods for the optimum pH balance.

"My whole philosophy is my 70/30 rule. So 70pc of the time, you follow the alkaline way, 30pc of the time you do whatever you want, whether it be eating meat, having a chocolate brownie, or a glass of wine or a cocktail," she adds.

With 120,000 Instagram followers and 26,000 on Twitter, Corrett's approach to healthy eating has been a hit. As well as the health factor, her recipes are often very simple too (as you will see below), so there really is no excuse! She loves nothing more than getting messages from fans online who have tried out her methods.

"When you're at home working away creating things, you can forget that there's a whole world out there about to try these recipes," she says.

"When people take photos and upload them, and tell you how easy it was and how delicious they were, it really makes it worthwhile."

Here are three of Corrett's recipes to try at home.

Pomegranate bircher muesli

Serves 4

Ingredients:

150g oats

1/2 lemon, juiced

325g almond milk (or milk of your choice)

1/2 grated apple

1tsp cinnamon

A handful of pomegranate seeds

1tbsp sesame seeds

Method:

Put the oats into a bowl and cover with the milk. Add the lemon, apple and cinnamon and mix together.

Put into the fridge overnight.

Garnish with the pomegranates and seeds.

Papaya salad

Serves 2 as main, 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

125g raw papaya

135g mango

20g coriander

Dressing:

2tbsp vinegar

1tbsp agave

2 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger

1/2 red chilli

2tbsp red shallot

1tbsp lemongrass

1/2 lime

Handful of cashews

Method

Julienne the raw papaya and mango and put into a bowl.

Make the dressing by thinly chopping the shallot, lemongrass, ginger, chilli, garlic and put into the bowl, and then add the vinegar, agave and lime and mix together.

Pour the dressing over the top and mix in the coriander, and serve with a garnish of toasted cashews.

Roasted Asian miso aubergine

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

220g aubergine

1tbsp sunflower oil

2tbsp sweet miso

2tbsp mirin

1tbsp brown rice vinegar

1 inch grated ginger

1 spring onion (10g)

1/4 cup water

1tbsp tamari

1tbsp water

5g fresh coriander

Fresh chilli slices

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Slice the aubergine into circles approximately half a centimetre thick.

Line baking tray with baking paper & smear with one tablespoon sunflower oil.

Make the sauce by mixing together the sweet miso, mirin, ginger and brown rice vinegar together. Slice the spring onion thinly on an angle, then mix into the sauce.

Dip each of the aubergines on both sides into the sauce and put onto the baking tray. Repeat with all the slices.

Pour the quarter cup of water onto the tray with the aubergine.

Put into the oven for 15 minutes then turn the aubergine over. Put back into the oven for another 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Mix the tamari and water together and pour over the aubergine.

To serve, sprinkle with fresh coriander and chilli.

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