Weight loss: ‘Healthiest’ food for diet plan costs just £1 – ‘simple’ recipes to try now

Sunday Brunch: Guests try strawberries with cheese on them

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Weight loss is not only sometimes difficult to achieve, it can also take the fun out of cooking and eating. Luckily, there are some foods that are cheap to buy, simple to cook with, taste good, and contribute to weight loss.

One of these foods is berries.

According to Jackson, not only are berries packed full of nutrients, but they are also one of the easiest healthy foods to add to your diet as they can be eaten on their own or with other ingredients.

Now is the right time to eat berries as they are in season in the UK, meaning they are even more delicious than usual.

Additionally, if you buy berries from a UK shop or market, you will be supporting local growers and farmers.

Jackson’s favourite berries are strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

He recommended eating these on their own, putting them in the freezer to eat at a later date, or using them to follow his “simple” recipes, which are found at the bottom of this article.

The chef said: “I worked very hard to make these recipes as simple as possible.

“So they would be achievable by anyone with an interest and excitement for food.”

For Jackson, using British produce is important, and so with his recipes he focused on “the seasonality and the quality of the raw ingredients, most notably the berries”.

“Buying good British berries at the peak of their season is transformative.

“You could replicate these dishes to an extent with frozen imported berries, but I wouldn’t recommend it, because the results will be significantly inferior.”

Jackson went on to explain the health benefits of berries and how easy they are to implement into your diet. He said: “Unquestionably, berries are some of the healthiest things we can eat.

“And I would say that in terms of kind of the ratio of simple pleasure, simplicity and delicious, versus health benefits, there’s probably nothing easier.

“I mean, you can talk about broccoli, but no one wants to sit and eat raw broccoli, whereas raw berries in their natural state are an absolute pleasure to eat and have such a host of health benefits, from their high fibre to their high concentrations of vitamin C.”

Jackson added that berries are also packed with vitamin K and magnesium, and that “such a small bowl of strawberries gives you just such an enormous amount of your daily requirement for vitamins and minerals”.

“Why we’re not using them [berries] for every meal, is beyond me.”

Jackson continued: “You can be eating berries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

“I like having them with yogurt for breakfast, or if I’m at home with my children and I want to finish a simple meal, a little vanilla ice cream and a scattering of blueberries or strawberries is just one of the most delicious things you can ever eat and couldn’t be easier.”

The chef highlighted the importance of eating berries now, while they are in season as “the sooner you eat something after it’s picked, the better the flavour, the better the texture, and generally speaking the higher the concentration of most of its specimens and minerals will be”.

“Fresh is best,” Jackson added.

“For me, there’s so much pleasure in berries at this time of year.

“They’re just some of the most wonderfully happy-making things you can put in your mouth right now.”

Jackson’s recipes for Love Fresh Berries

Trout, Raspberries, Courgette

Raspberry Vinegar

250g Raspberries

250g Champagne vinegar

1. Halve the raspberries and put them in a small saucepan.

2. Pour the vinegar over, and gently warm over a low heat to a gentle simmer, and leave for a few minutes until the raspberries start to break down.

3. Strain through a sieve, prezzing the juice from the raspberries as you do so.

Trout

4 Fillets of Sea Trout weighing 150g each

500ml white wine

500ml water

50ml white wine vinegar

1 head of fennel, sliced fine

1 shallot, sliced fine

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Leaves from one head of celery

A handful of parsley stalks

1. In a deep oven tray, arrange the vegetables, and pour over the liquid. Put in a 180 degree oven for ten minutes, until the liquid is starting to gently steam.

2. Remove the tray from the oven, and lower the temperature to 140 degrees.

3. Put a wire rack over the broth, and the fish on the rack. The rack should be tall enough not to touch the liquid. Cover the tray in a layer of tinfoil, and put back in the oven, for 20 minutes. The fish should gently steam in this time. Check it by gently pinching it. If it feels fleshy but resistant, it is cooked. allow it to gently cool in its steam bath.

4. Slice courgettes using a mandoline and arrange over each plate. Break the cold fish down into chunks and arrange around the plate. Garnish with thinly sliced shallots.

5. Mix 100ml of raspberry vinegar with 100ml of Extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt and a crack of black pepper. Whisk together, and gently fold in 100g of shelled baby peas, and 100g of halved raspberries. Spoon over the fish.

Pork Chop, Blackberries and Summer Beans

4 Pork Loin Chops, weighing 300g each

100g Blackberries, halved

50g Hazelnuts, toasted and halved

1 shallot, sliced into rounds and separated into rings

200g fine beans, blanched in boiling water, then shocked in ice water.

Blackberry Agrodolce

100ml dry white wine

100ml port

200g blackberries

200g Red wine vinegar

200g caster sugar

1. Reduce wine and port by half, add blackberries & vinegar. In a separate pan caramelise the sugar up to 130 degrees, pour in the vinegar and cook for a further 3 mins. Pass and cool.

2. Allow pork chops to sit out for an hour in order to come to room temperature. Sear on both sides in a very hot pan, baste with foaming butter, and rest. Reserve a couple of spoonfuls of the pan juices in a large mixing bowl.

3. While resting, toss the beans, hazelnuts, shallots and blackberries with the reserved pan juices, salt and pepper. Split between four plates along with the four chops, and dress with the sweet and sour blackberry agrodolce.

Blueberry and Buckwheat Clafoutis

500g blueberries

Zest of one orange

5g ground ginger

25g caster sugar

100g butter

25g butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

270 whole milk

25g strong flour

25g buckwheat

50g caster sugar

2g salt

1. Toss blue berries with orange zest, ginger, sugar. Set aside in a warm place to macerate.

2. Mix flours, sugar and salt. Mix melted butter, milk & eggs. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Leave for 2 hours.

3. Heat oven to 210 degrees.

4. In a large cast iron pan, large enough to contain all the blueberries, melt the butter over a high heat until sizzling.

5. Pour in the berries, and allow them to saute for 20 seconds or so. Then pour in the batter. Transfer to the oven for 15 minutes. Then open the door to remove some of the intense heat, and drop temperature down to 160, for a further 15 minutes, closing the door again.

6. Remove from the oven, top with a further 100g of fresh blueberries, and sift with icing sugar.

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