A vegetable-rich diet: We grow most of our vegetables and we eat some of the weeds too. Our garden is home to fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, herbs and spices, all grown without pesticides and fertilized with our own compost. The weeds, called horta, include nettle, dandelion, purslane, and amaranth wild fennel among numerous others, all bursting with nutrients and fiber. The health benefits to eating a vegetable-rich diet are numerous but they include a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. While we advocate “growing your own”, we know that’s not possible for everyone. Buy the best you can, preferably organic and from a trusted source.
Olive oil, not butter: You’ll notice that we don’t use butter in any of our recipes, only olive oil. We don’t hate butter, and we do occasionally eat it, it’s just that olive oil is better. It’s high in monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart and contains a range of antioxidants such as Vitamin E. It also aids digestion among many other health properties. Our olives are grown, harvested and spun to the highest standard and sourced from producers mindful of sustainable farming practices. We advise buying virgin olive oil rather than an oil that has been refined or industrially treated.
Honey, not sugar: Packed with natural antioxidants and medicinal qualities, we use it to replace man-made, highly processed sugar with little nutritional value. We use honey in everything. Sweet mountain honey works well with meats like chicken and pork and in desserts. Bitter honey, produced from the evergreen strawberry tree or heather, is an acquired taste but works perfectly in vinaigrette dressings.
Eat seasonally: The ever-changing produce in our garden dictates what we eat and nothing brings us more pleasure than waiting and watching as new seedlings sprout and mature. Fruit and vegetables eaten seasonally are at their best. If you’re not growing your own, seasonal produce is not only cheaper to buy, but it’s better for the environment, requiring less artificial input and less miles traveled across the globe to reach you.
Retain the nutrients: We want to retain as many of the nutrients in our diet as possible so this is the reason we won’t deep fry our food. Boiling, steaming and baking are our preferred methods of cooking, and our salads use raw produce.