Plentiful evidence links it to health and longevity; specifically to a reduced risk of a vast range of health problems, from heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes to cancer, dementia and even infertility. Its connotations of an onerous eating regime and — most hateful of all — calorie counting, have nothing to do with the true Mediterranean way.
How To Make Homemade Greek Yogurt • Troubleshooting Guide Included
That said, there are certain foods common to the countries that hug the Mediterranean Sea that scientists have identified as brimming with nutrients. I pour it into everything from cake batter to bread dough, as well as using it in one of my favourite breakfasts — drizzled directly over Greek yogurt and topped with chopped dates, sunflower seeds, orange zest and a pinch of salt. Seafood especially oily fish and vegetables sit at the heart of a true Mediterranean kitchen, too, and hardly need to be touched if you enjoy them at their best.
A fillet of mackerel, grilled and stuffed with salad between two bread rolls a fish burger, to my children , barely constitutes cooking. We all know we should eat more nuts, brimming as they are with flavour, good fats and fibre, but many of us have a blind spot about using them in the kitchen.
Traditional Mediterranean cooks have no such problem, pounding them into pastes to thicken sauces and stews, tossing them into salads, bread and cakes — or simply nibbling a bowlful, with a glass of something cold, to sharpen the appetite before a meal. The Mediterranean breakfast table, and mine too, is unthinkable without dairy, and always full-fat.
A splodge of Greek yogurt, its rich sourness tempered with fruit, nuts and seeds, is breakfast nirvana. Traditionally in the Mediterranean, foods such as pizza were reserved for special occasions and pasta was eaten as a modest starter, often piled with vegetables. And if you get the base right you can eat a little of whatever else you like. In an age where we hear so much about single foods or nutrients being good or bad for us, the Mediterranean approach just makes so much more sense than following the latest diet craze.
Tomato bread with mint, hazelnuts and jamon. R oast whole red mullet with tomato, fennel and olive salad. S paghetti with red chicory, bacon and garlic crumbs. Andrea Chesman.
Skinny Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
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Why I like to make yogurt:
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