Eating well is one of the foundation stones for good health, especially in later life. If you can stick to a wholesome balanced diet, with a variety of foods in the right proportions, you’ll have more energy, find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and generally feel better all round.
One of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating, and avoid many of the artificial additives, preservatives and high levels of sugar and salt in pre-packed foods, is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Older people are generally better at home cooking than younger ones, not having grown up in the ‘fast food’ and ‘ready meals’ era, but some people still shy away from the stove. There’s really no reason to, as many healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
Those trying to eat healthily often assume puddings are off the menu, but that’s not necessarily the case. Just as with main courses, it’s easy to make healthier puddings at home, like this delicious cherry berry crumble. This quick and easy recipe is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. Serving up to six people, it’s a perfect summer pudding, taking only 10 minutes to prepare and 35 minutes’ cooking time.
- 200g frozen cherries
- 200g frozen summer fruits
- 150g plain flour
- 75g low-fat spread
- 30g porridge oats
- 1 tbsp demerara or granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp low-fat, lower sugar plain yoghurt, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan over 160°C), gas mark 4.
- Put the frozen cherries and summer fruits into a baking dish. There’s no need to let them thaw first.
- Put the flour into a large missing bowl and add the low-fat spread, rubbing it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the porridge oats and sugar.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top of the cherries and summer fruits.
- Place the dish on a baking tray and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve with 2 tbsp of yoghurt per person.
Tips: Most supermarkets sell frozen summer fruits, but you could use any combination of frozen berries, such as raspberries, blackberries or fruits of the forest. You could serve with vanilla flavoured low-fat yoghurt instead of plain, or, if it’s for a special treat, use fresh cream, ‘squirty cream’, or ice cream, but they will increase the calorie count.
• Each serving contains: Energy 1,059kj/252kcal; protein 6.2g; carbohydrate 35.6g, of which 12.9g sugars; fat 8.8g, of which 2.2g saturates; fibre 2.9g; sodium 120mg, equivalent to 0.3g salt.