By Chere Di Boscio
Clean eating is a phenomenon that’s not going away. After realising how much crap is in our food, people are wising up to the fact that perhaps increased cancer rates and an epidemic of malaises ranging from allergies to skin conditions are related to the lack of natural, organic food in our supermarkets. Vegan, organic and paleo diets have all gained popularity amongst those who believe, as Hippocrates said, that ‘food should be your medicine.’ But one type of eating that often gets overlooked is the alkaline diet. Devotees swear it does wonders for their digestion, skin and mood, and British chef Natasha Corrett is living proof. Since clearing up her own health issues through dietary changes, she’s been on a crusade to help people stop creating food-induced acidic environments in their bodies which can lead to illness and cancer. Word has it that Victoria Beckham‘s highly improved skin is down to following Natasha’s recipes.
Mainly, she recommends eating predominantly vegetarian foods, as these tend to be the most alkaline of all, and reducing your intake of coffee, alcohol, sugar and white flour. She’s produced a plethora of delicious low-acid recipes for her Honestly Healthy blog and cookbook, and now she’s got a second book out called Honestly Healthy in a Hurry for healthy food lovers on the go.
Here in this exclusive interview, she shares her kitchen must-haves, go-to dinner party food and why alkaline eating is so essential.
Tell us more about the importance of eating alkaline foods for health
Eating alkaline is about eating for optimal health, cutting out processed and refined foods and eating as natural as possible. Increasing more alkaline forming foods help you to sleep better, give you more energy, clear skin, better concentration, balanced hormones, as well as a natural weight loss…the list of benefits are endless.
Some people feel it’s complicated knowing which foods are acidic or not. Are there some basic guidelines to determine this?
All foods react differently when digested but if you can stick to lots of veg, limited fruit, gluten free grains and pulses, cut out meat, cows dairy and sugar you will be feeling the benefits.
Of course your new book is packed with new recipes. Is it different from your previous one in any other ways?
Yes it’s very different! It is going to save you money, time and create zero food waste. My new method of prep night and batch cooking is going to save you so much time so that each night your meals only take 10-20 minutes to make rather than slaving over a hot stove for an hour each night which none of us have any time to do!
What’s your go-to dinner party food?
A delicious curry as it is so easy to pull together.
What do you do when you go to a dinner party or restaurant and there’s nothing suitable for your personal diet?
I eat what I want when I go out. I have my 70/30 rule so if I want to go out and enjoy myself I let that be my 30%.
Do you listen to the TV or radio while you cook? If so, what are your favourite cooking tunes/shows?
I actually tend to cook in silence. I am normally creating recipes so I like to concentrate on flavour combinations and I find it really meditative just being in the moment.
Which 5 foods are always on hand in your kitchen?
Gluten free flour, avocado, lemons, coconut oil and eggs.
What’s the most challenging dinner you’ve ever had to make?
Goodness I don’t think I have ever done anything that challenging! I suppose it was a little daunting making my first soufflé but other than that I just take things in my stride!
Which cooking utensils do you recommend everyone have in the kitchen?
A good blender so either a vitamix or nutribullet depending on price, a spiralizer (from our website www.honestlyhealthyfood.com
) and a microplane.
How do you come up with new recipes? Is it luck or is there a process?
I get inspired by travel, tasting different flavours and spice combinations and then I just play in the kitchen. I normally see the end result in my mind before I start and then I just try different things.
You’re so busy with your own work/site and writing books…what’s next for you?
I am going on tour with my new tuk tuk (street food truck) we call it the Green Machine and will be taking it to the festivals and doing pop up restaurants up and down the country. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and cook for everyone.
Get Alkaline Now with Natasha
Here’s a wee taste (heh heh) of Natasha’s unique health-enhancing recipes. Unlike those in her upcoming book, these take a bit of time to make, but they’re worth it!
Egg Fried Cauli ‘Rice’
Starchy carbs tend to be acidic, so Natasha has dreamed up a recipe for Chinese food lovers that contains none of the white rice and all of the flavour as egg fried rice. Like the looks of this? Get the recipe here.
Protein Granola Cookies
Eating alkaline doesn’t have to mean giving up your favourite foods. These high protein granola cookies are a neat treat that deliver a spicy crunch. Get the recipe here.
Beetroot & Berry Cheesecake
Surprise! This ‘cheese’ cake is packed with one of the healthiest veggies around. But you’d never guess it, thanks to its sweet berry flavour and creamy texture. Get the recipe here.
Ok, this is about as far from the traditional Italian dish as you can get. But like that Napolitan favourite, this ‘pizza’ is completely more-ish – and doesn’t take long to make, either. Get the recipe here.
Tumeric & Lemon Pancakes
Tumeric is one of the hottest food additions right now. Thanks to its strong anti-cancer properties, it’s being added to everything from pancakes to tea. Add some (ironically) acid-busting lemon to this recipe, and you have some highly healthy pancakes! Get the recipe here.