Yesterday I fought off the hangover from hell. I keep promising myself I will quit drinking for good and then something gets in the way - like a birthday, or a Friday, or a catastrophic socio-economic cock up by our nation - and I need wine.
The day after the night before is all about eating myself better. It usually involves loading up on all the sugars and carbs I've successfully avoided all week and ends with me slumped on the sofa in a calorie induced coma come 9pm.
For I have discovered cook books people! Cook books that have tricked me into actual healthy food preparation with their super styled kitchens, their dreamy vintage crockery and their fit/celebrity cover girls.
My current foodie crush is Fearne Cotton whose new Cook Happy, Cook Healthy book just makes me love her EVEN more. A feat I hardly thought possible. Here she is with the blouse and the cake my dreams are made of.
Ohhhh I could totally do Tacos at Fearne's place with Jesse and the kids. The boys will play trains with Rex while I cuddle baby Honey. I'll swap dress notes with Fearne as she rustles up a Quick Quesadila, our hubbies mixing up Fighting Fit Juice Shots to finish. That's what weekends should be like, right? Not nursing a stinking head with a caffeine overload and a family sized box of Maltesers.
It turns out, preparing healthy food is massively therapeutic too - in fact it's almost as good as eating the stuff. Even shopping at the local health food store and smugly requesting to be pointed in the direction of goji berries gave me a rush not dissimilar to that induced by my hangover cure of old (a bottle of Lucozade Sport and a £1 bag of Haribo Starmix if you're interested).
It is of course a LOT more expensive, but that too felt like a suitably luxurious apology to my fractured state. £10 of good stuff to put into my body to counteract the £50 of poison I'd poured in the night before? Take me to the till oh vegan shop assistant with glowing skin and shiny hair.
So, if you don't mind, I may be posting more along these lines in the future as my transformation into fashionable foodie goddess takes shape. Of course, lots of you are already way ahead of me on this whole healthy eating journey. I am, admittedly, incredibly late to the party. These kind of posts are therefore aimed at the entry level goddesses among us. The recipes I share will be SUPER easy and all totally possible to do whilst simultaneously practicing pelvic floor exercises and learning last week's lost spellings that just turned up in the bread bin. I think that's where I've found my niche.
Today's offering? Fearne Cotton's Spelt and Goji Berry Loaf. P.18 of her really rather beautiful cookbook and the perfect antidote to a messy housewarming party in Leeds on a Friday night. Eat it (I like it toasted best) with best butter and a steaming hot cuppa and begin to understand what life at Fearne's house quite possibly tastes like.
Spelt and Goji Berry Loaf
Cook Happy, Cook Healthy by Fearne Cotton
480g wholegrain spelt flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sea salt
80g pumpkin seeds
40g dried apricots, finely chopped or raisins
40g Gogi berries
520ml tepid water
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees farenheit/ Gas mark 6. Lightly grease a 1KG loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
- Combine all the dry ingredients, including the seeds and fruit, in a bowl, then add honey and water and mix again until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, then carefully remove the loaf from its tin and continue to bake the loaf upside down directly on the oven rack for a further 10 minutes (this gives it a better crust.)
- Remove the loaf from the oven and leave it to cool completely before cutting (otherwise the steam escapes resulting in a drier loaf). Once cool, cut into slices and spread with your favourite topping. This will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
And that's it. The easiest, most impressive looking healthy loaf you are ever likely to call your own and as an added bonus, it's unbelievably low in fat. Not that I'm counting boring things like fat content and calories of course, we healthy eating goddesses don't need to do that because we know that everything we produce is full of natural goodness. (Unlike the full bag of cheese and chive pretzels I wolfed down with my Prosecco on Friday).
From now on happy food = happy hangovers. If I were ever drinking again, I would definitely drink to that.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on. I would love to hear your thoughts!