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Food and Ingredients News

Celebrity chefs could do more to reduce food waste

A new study has revealed that the cookery styles encouraged by high profile chefs are unlikely to reduce the nation’s huge amount of food waste generated by British households.

Dr David Evans, a member of the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute, claims that the desire to eat a wide range of meals coupled with the drive to prepare more dishes from scratch can result in more food waste.

Dr Evans studied nineteen Manchester households during the course of eight months in an attempt to understand why the nation throws away over eight million tonnes of food waste each year.

Dr Evans watched people prepare, cook and shop for food and also asked them to discuss the contents of their cupboards, fridges and freezers. He claims that whilst consumers are often blamed for lacking the ability to cook or not caring enough about wasting food, he found nothing in his study to support this view.

The research suggests that people don’t generally need cookery courses but do sometimes find it hard to make use of leftovers. This is particularly true when the family contains are fussy eaters who often prefer established recipes to more improvised meals.

Dr Evans argues that the current volumes of household food waste should be considered as the result of people negotiating the contradictory and complex demands of everyday life. He believes that the pressure from celebrity chefs to eat and cook in certain ways inevitably leads to a greater risk of food waste.

Most food advocated by celebrity chefs is perishable and therefore should be eaten fairly quickly. Our unpredictable leisure schedules and working hours make it more difficult to make best use of the food in our cupboards and fridges.

Dr Evans believes that those with influence including celebrity chefs should recognize the issues and consider how to make it desirable or at least socially acceptable for people to use frozen vegetables or eat the same dish for several consecutive nights.

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Food and Ingredients News

Gluten Free Cookery Courses

The charity Coeliac UK estimates that around 1% of the UK population is affected by coeliac disease.

If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, or coeliac disease, then it’s likely that you will need to completely review your cooking habits.

Gluten features in many different foods, including several that you would not expect. Learning how to prepare gluten-free dishes is a positive way of adjusting to your new lifestyle. There are many great gluten-free dishes and by tackling the allergy head on you will feel more in control.

Several cookery schools now offer gluten-free cooking courses but in our view the following are well worth considering.

The Cookery School, Glasgow

The Cookery School is based in Glasgow’s city centre and is one of the city’s best kept secrets. It is well known for its wide variety of cooking courses – from classes for the promising chef, whisky and wine tasting and cupcake courses to hen parties and corporate events.

All courses are very practical, with everything provided, including recipes, equipment, ingredients, and an apron.

During the one-day ‘Gluten-Free Baking & Bread’ cookery course guests will learn how to prepare chocolate muffins, a herb loaf, fruit scones, cupcakes, Victoria sponge and butter icing. The day will include a mixture of chef demonstrations and practical hands-on learning.

Lunch with wine is included and guests will have the opportunity to take their best work home with them. Bookings are currently being taken for the next course which begins on 17th November.

Gluten-Free Cooking For Kids, Oxfordshire

Gluten-Free Cooking For Kids have launched a new gluten-free bakery course at the Miele Centre in Abingdon. The one-day course will focus on preparing guest for the Christmas period and is a great opportunity to learn some fantastic new skills.

The course will be delivered using a mixture of demonstrations and hands-on learning. It will be packed with lots of hints and tips. Guests will learn how to prepare many gluten-free Christmas classics, including mince pies, canapés, turkey stuffing, biscuits galore and sticky and moist cakes.

All necessary ingredients and materials are provided. Guests will also receive refreshments, including lunch, and recipes of the dishes they have learnt.

The course is suitable for both novices and more experienced chefs. Bookings are currently being taken for the next course which begins on 24th November.

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Food and Ingredients News

Potato Council turns up shocking vegetable know-how stats

Oh my life, I’m so sorry. I do so keep tittering. It’s taken me an absolute age to start writing this. Okay – deep breath…and begin…
…over on the Great British Chef’s blog, they have an article about the ineptitude and ignorance of adults when it comes to knowing what are or what to do with vegetables. That I can sort of understand and it is so not a laughing matter.

When one in five adults in the UK believes that parsnips grow on trees, we’re in big trouble. We all know that they come out of pods, of course. But it’s not the context of the article that’s slaying me – it’s the people who conducted the survey – oh, Lawdy, I’m off again. Composure, love, c’mon.

According to the Potato Council (did anyone have Mr Potato Head? I just keep seeing variations of all of the different disguises sported by said character, sitting around a table of war – I’m so very sorry), not only did swathes of the 2,000 correspondents in the study lack knowledge of some of the absolute staples of the vegetarian portion of our diet, but also 95% weren’t at all phased by their ignorance. Is it any wonder that obesity and type two diabetes is abound?

Mr Potato Head kwikloks
credit: A Healthy Mr Potato Head, kwikloks 

Here are just a few snippets of the worrying results that the survey, conducted ahead of Potato Week and, one would expect, to highlight the exact lack of knowledge that the results, maybe somewhat predictably, turned up:

  • Twenty percent of all adults polled were blissfully ignorant of potato brands King Edward or Maris Piper.
  • Approximately one hundred of the adults surveyed believed that the Granny Smith was a variety of potato, whilst
  • a further two hundred thought that tomatoes were harvested out of the ground.

Incredible as it sounds, TGBC article makes a very good point. With even vegetables sliced and diced and microwave-ready from the coolers and freezers in the supermarkets, why should adults possess in-depth knowledge of the origin of each species of vegetable they ‘prepare’ for their families?

Oh, and that was another thing – not only was not recognising traditional potato brands or believing that some brands of apples were quite literally la pomme de terre an issue, but also many subjects said they had an issue cooking spuds, once they’d got past that tricky stage of identifying them.  I’d love to see how the Granny Smith French Fries turned out…moving on.

From not being able to make ‘fluffy’ roasters (50%) to boiled potatoes crumbling into the water (34%) to mash being too lumpy/sloppy (28%), all were cited as barriers to culinary prowess using the most basic ingredient in the kitchen.

It may help those struggling that the Potato Council has issued a re-classification for spud-types. I’m not as confident as Caroline Evans, of the Potato Council, in her belief that the new branding will help struggling chefs to “…pick the potato that’s right for each dish, every time.” The new classifications are:

  • Fluffy
  • Salad
  • Smooth

What do you think?  Lord help them when they have to make chips, that’s all I can say…talk about half-baked?

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Food and Ingredients News

Coffee good for the brain? I ought to be the next Einstein!

Good day, guys and girls. Thanks for rejoining us for this second exploratory post into the top ten brain foods as advised by The Cooking Academy. If you missed the first three choice ingredients in the list, you can find them on yesterday’s post, Foods that are naturally healthy for body, mind and soul, where we marvelled at how ingredients classed as healthy options for the body are also believed to have potent mind-boosting powers, too.

So, in total contrast, let’s start today with number four in the Cooking Academy’s list, and an inclusion that should make me the brightest spark against the night sky if its power is increment by volume, coffee! In fact, I know a few myth-shattering facts about their number four item so I’ll not wax lyrical about coffee here; we’ll save the detail for a future article. Suffice to know that its inclusion in the list, in its purest, served form, is based on its antioxidant qualities and ability to stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia. Ah, “in moderation”, it says. Boooooo!

5. Nuts! Another ingredient utilised positively by both body and mind. Ever feel relaxed when you sniff almonds? That’s because the neurotransmitters therein elevate your mood. Walnuts are a great food if you’re peckish before bedtime as they help with insomnia and many nuts, including the bog-standard peanut, include nutrients that boost mental clarity; the vast majority also contain healthy, natural fats in their oils, prolifically Omega 3.
6. Avocados – a fruit that has long been steered away from by dieters (in error) is good for the blood, believed to help reduce pressure and increase the flow to the brain, improving its function. The healthy fats in avocados are an ideal substitute for saturates in a calorie controlled diet, too.
7. Eggs – another much-maligned product and, whether your looking to lose weight through diet and training or want a sharper mind, eggs fit the bill. The choline therein is associate with the building blocks of memory function whilst the protein and healthy fats are the basis of building and protecting healthy muscle tissue. Boiled or poached eggs will not, as urban myth has it, rocket your cholesterol; even at two a day, the effect of their nutritious content can help balance your body’s relative levels.
8. Whole grain – mm, the jury’s out on this one as far as dieting goes, but I’m totally in favour of it, for reasons other than content. In the context of the brain, they contribute massively to a healthy circulation. Some nutritionists may warn against wholegrain bread as part of a heavy resistance training diet but, for me at least, the benefits the grain give as an intestinal hoover due to their high-fibre content far outweigh the reasons some trainers give for not incorporating it. The grains are also a source of healthy, natural fats you can include in your diet without necessarily having to think to hard about it.
9. Chocolate – okay, here’s the second and final item on the list that you wouldn’t find on a dieter’s main menu, the darker the better, up to the point where it gets too bitter. Above 70% for me and it’s pushing it, but the Cooking Academy’s author prefers 85% cocoa – ugh, that makes me shudder. But, dark/plain chocolate (again in moderation) contains high concentrations of antioxidants and has been proven to target focus – perfect for the freelance writer who may get distracted by World Golf Tour or his e-mail, for instance…time to visit Hotel Chocolat again, methinks. Milk chocolate, surprisingly, has benefits too, cutting down reaction time as well as improving memory function.
10. And finally, Broccoli. One of the great Superfoods and, in my humble opinion, second in the all-time list behind only blueberries. It helps improve memory, is saturated with vitamins, helps reduce the ageing process and also helps improve memory. Mm, quite.

So, thanks to Kumud Ghandi who originally complied this list for The Cooking Academy and I hope you’ve enjoyed my expansion on the original theme, incorporating snippets on the bodily benefits as well as the brain power you’ll now exhibit by incorporating these ingredients into your diet – even if it’s not a healthy one, by inclusion of these natural food stuffs, you may well turn a corner there, too.

Some of the ingredients may not be the easiest to incorporate into the weekly cook/shop – why not check out our hand-picked cookery courses to see if those courses we are rating as offering the best value at your time of reading this (we do acid-test them, so the individual cookery schools we feature often rotate) offer a nutrition/healthy cookery class you can draw upon for inspiration?

Got a comment? We’d love to hear from you.

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Food and Ingredients News

Foods that are naturally healthy for body, mind and soul

Readers and followers of cookerycourses.co.uk over the last year will have picked up little hints and tips that, as much as we cover food in general on this website, my heart beats with a passion for healthy eating.

I’m not talking processed ready meals to fit nicely into a points program to reduce/maintain weight – if that’s your idea of how to cook healthy and nutritious food, then me and you need to have a little chat. I’m talking about taking nature’s own goodness and deriving nutrition out body can actually do something proactive with. Not just satisfy a hunger, but develop your body the way nature intended us to be.

One of the key factors to being able to lose weight and keep it off is having a mind capable of dealing with the fact that, in order to be your best you have (probably) got to go through a life-changing process. Where many people fail is that there is not focused enough to determine the truth in that or retain the will power to help realise any targets, dreams and goals you set yourself to become a healthier, slimmer more active and attractive person.

Whilst there is a profusion of differing ways purported to help your body online, there’s a lot less about how we can fuel our mind to make it perform at it’s sharpest. So, today and tomorrow, we’re going to look at just that based upon an article in The Cooking Academy this weekend entitled Top 10 Brain Foods.

1. Blueberries – this little star deserves a medal! Not only is it one of many a fitness trainers’ recommended Superfoods, now it’s being recognised as a key ingredient to help with cognitive performance. It’s widespread mind-issue tackling functions and ability to burn more calories than are included in its indigo, squishy body are not the only powers the blueberry has, either. According to it, it can help reduce the impact of free radicals through its high antioxidant content and can help reduce the signs of ageing. No wonder they’re about a pound for a vacuum pack of ten in the supermarket!
2. Salmon – it’s amazing how many of the foods commonly accepted to help the body reach its optimum are also accredited with helping your brain do the same. Whilst tuna is high in essential Omega-3 too, the helpful oil found in salmon is a much purer derivative. Both contain high levels of protein, too and, according this new research salmon promotes the growth of healthy brain tissue as well as staving off many of the symptoms and causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Linseed – these little seed pellets are dense with ALA and, when released, the healthy fat boosts performance of the cerebral cortex. This particular segment of our cerebrum is responsible for sensitivity and touch and without its function, sight, smell, sound and nervous reaction would be severely dampened. Linseed is also extremely helpful in weightloss, helping to keep the intestinal tract clean, allowing you to derive the maximum amount of nutrition from the food you eat, staving off starvation that little bit longer.

Okay, those are three good starters, beneficial to both body and mind. And, of course, for your ever-loving soul, if you share this knowledge with friends, family and anyone who you think could benefit from a change in their diet.  Join me tomorrow when we’ll look at the final seven selections and how they can bring us to the peak of physical and mental conditioning.

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Food and Ingredients News

So why is iron essential to one’s diet?

The advantage of taking in iron from red meats – your pork (yes, it looks white, but it’s from a pig, so it’s red), lamb, beef and boiled sardine – sorry, not that last one; just put that in as a red herring – is that haem iron, the derivative from such cuts, needs no other ingredient to create the synergistic reaction of your body breaking down and absorbing the iron as it needs from non-haem from plants. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten already…here’s the link to part one, if you’ve got to recap: Iron deficiency rife amongst women of child bearing age?

Up to this point, you’ve not got a clue what haem is, have you, if you’re honest? Even the spellchecker in OneNote is putting a wiggly red line beneath it. But if I was to extend that to haemoglobin…aah, the light dawns!

According to MAP, the Meat Advisory Panel, we are falling short in our haem iron intake, which is key in the formation of haemoglobin, without which our body would be starved of necessary levels of oxygen as that’s what it does – transport oxygen around the body to where it’s needed through the blood stream.

The repercussions of low-iron are not only the obvious condition, anaemia, but can also be mistaken for period pains, too. If you’re an insufferable insomniac, become short of breath, exhibit exhaustion get migraines and feel fatigue in the muscles, then just think back over the last few days and work out how much iron you’ve actually taken in. Indeed, the latest study showed that women of childbearing age and girls in their teens registered highest in the levels of reduced iron. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s going on, does it?

Okay – so that’s the science bit over. Red meat in your diet – if you’ve been ignoring it, don’t; not unless you can derive a suitable level of iron from the other sources as indicated earlier in the article. Okay, you may say that MAP has a vested interest in getting us to eat more meat, but there’s no getting away from the fact that iron is critical for our health and well-being.

Some people shy away from red meat as they don’t know how to cook it or handle it safely in the kitchen, with cross contamination, warm and cold meats, how to store it once cooked – get yourself on one of our many cookery courses to find out the best way to derive nutrients from red meat, how to handle it and, most importantly, how to cook red meat to ensure you deliver nutritious, tasty food, without giving your family high blood pressure or depriving them of their haem!

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Food and Ingredients News

Iron deficiency rife amongst women of child bearing age

You know when someone cuts themselves, or worse luck, when you cut yourself and you pick up the odour of that metallic tincture? There’s a reason for it. Blood contains iron. Specifically, haem iron, different to the iron in plants, pulses, greens and wholemeal bread, which is non-haem iron.

I know – you’re thinking “What on earth is this bloke on? We’re doing cookery courses!” Bear with me – there is a point to this. Bit more science, then we’re into the cookery bit, promise.

Non-haem iron – the planty, grainy stuff (you should have seen how technical the original research piece on this got – you’ll be glad I failed chemistry, honest) – relies pretty much on the intake of other substances to control how the body deals with it. For instance, if you have cereal with OJ, then the vitamin C from the juice helps the body’s digestion of the non-haem iron found in the grain. If, on the other hand, you enjoyed your cereals but were worried about iron intake found in them because of high blood pressure, for example, you’d derive your enjoyment from bran as the high fibre content acts as a natural sweeper to get rid of the non-haem iron before it has chance to absorb. Drink a cup of tea with it and the tannins therein will have a similar ushering effect out of the system before the non-haem has a chance to react – all in moderation, of course – if you were to eat a box of bran, one cup of Liptons wouldn’t shift all of the iron, you understand.

But what’s concerning the medical councils is that we’re not getting enough iron in our diets, full stop. Or perhaps that should be, as the yanks say, period.  Ah, see! Getting around to the foodie stuff, now.

Whilst there have been reservations in the past about our intake of red meats leading to high blood pressure and inflaming the symptoms of conditions such as gout (nothing at all to do with the ale, red wine, sherry and port, yer honour), there is now the consideration we’ve not got enough metal to steel our mettle. See what I did, there?

Keeping up so far? Good-ho!  Right – take a break and a cup of char to wash away all of that iron from your breakfast cereal and join me in five for part two, Why is iron so essential to one’s diet?

 

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Food and Ingredients News

Celebrate National Cupcake week – 17th-23rd September

If you’re into your cookery, baking especially, you may already be aware that we are almost upon National Cupcake Week. Yes, yes, I know. But don’t be fooled by the femininity that the name ‘cupcake’ imbues – in the land of online baking, they are big business.  Let’s put it this way – if they were a football player for Team Cooking, Manchester City or Chelsea would be vying to pay them £250k week for the potential ROI this delicate little buttercup of baking has.

To ensure that they’re not missing out on the impending baking frenzy, the baking mad kitchen’s latest news letter leads with the story, citing famous chefs’ recipes and even suggests we throw a ‘cupcakes and cocktails’ party. I may not be so well blessed in the cake field, but I know enough about cocktails to suggest that even this frangipane of an idea is stretching the imagination, somewhat. Would you really spoil a measure of Cointreau by mixing it with egg and flour? Okay, maybe it’s just me, then.

Could you imagine beetroot cupcakes? Or, indeed, any type of vegetable ingredient going into this favourite mother-and-child baking lesson favourite from down the ages? No, me neither, but that’s what’s being suggested. I think I may get a little more sympathy for that than the cocktail comment. But I don’t know – if you’ve got your own experiences – even if it’s just blowing something by adding too much rum and applying an aggressive flame – share them with us in the comments, below.

To be fair, it’s not all whacky cupcake ideas. Eric Lanlard has christened a traditional recipe with his own twist the ‘red velvet’, which incorporates natural vanilla and dark chocolate – now that’s doable. Like, very.

But Lanlard’s not the only one getting in on the act. As you’d expect, there are a host of associated products being featured that, rather handily (somewhat contrivedly so, the cynic may proffer) there is a range of extracts just perfect for cupcakes and that just happen feature in Lanlard’s recipes. You can, however, win 20 sets of said extracts and see if you can marry them with the Cupcakes and Cocktails section, which lists everything from daiquiri recipes to Bailey’s cupcakes.

The red velvet is both the featured recipe of the month and is available in his Home Bake book, available at Amazon.co.uk with free shipping to the UK in paperback format – see, we can do promos, too!

And I know I’ve perhaps jibed about the ‘coincidental’ nature of some of the ingredients that go together – as if by magic – hand in hand, here, but there is the opportunity to win 10 copies of the MacMillan Little Book of Treats  launched to raise awareness of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and, of course, to raise funds for the irreplaceable cancer charity – worth signing up to Lanlard’s site (a condition of competition entry) just to support the group.

Okay – the recipes are not exactly cookery courses per se, but the community feel of the site and the openness of the forum is perhaps as close as you’ll get to sharing a cooking experience with other fledgling chefs without actually turning up to a cookery class yourself. And from the comfort of your own chair, you can become the creator of cupcakes, cocktails and catastrophes along with me in the member’s only community area. See you on the inside.

 

 

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Food and Ingredients News

Indian cooking and the spice of life

I think we’ve all been there at one time or another and had a disastrous experience with too much spice. It may well cause a moment of hilarity, when one or the other of our guests is calling for water, lots of it and quickly, but it begs the question: “why do we use spices?”

One of the first things that you’ll learn at any Indian cookery course is that spices are not just for flavour. To many peoples on the subcontinent, fresh and organic spices are not just to give their food a bit of a kick. The marriage of more mundane ingredients with exotic herbs and spices, traded in local markets for centuries, is as much to do with ensuring that their bodies stay nourished as it is with anything to do with simply flavour.

The old adage, we are what we eat, has never been truer than with the concept of the n=majority of Indian cuisine. Collated over many centuries, the various indigenous peoples of regions of India have developed harmonious recipes that blend affluent, local spices to produce the dishes we know and love in the UK as our favourite take-away food.

Ayurveda is much more than the technique developed of marrying ingredients to one another, as sworn by by the populace of many Indian townships. It is an out and out science that draws upon the chemistry between ingredients, developed through time-honoured practises (in the absence of any scientific equipment), passed down from generation to generation.

Okay, it may not pass a stringent examination under controlled conditions in a lab as a health benefit, but many of the blends we taste in our favourite Indian dishes have remained fervent in their respective cultures due to the belief that such time-honoured combinations as we’re now used to seeing accompanied with rice, naan, chapatti and roti have the added benefit of helping to stave off disease.

So not only are many of the Rogan Josh, Jalfrezi and other spicy dishes mouthwateringly tasty, but it’s the common belief of the people who uphold the traditions of their preparation to a traditional recipe that each curry or balti we have is doing our body good in a way that we perhaps do not even realise.

The scarcity of food in such tropical zones is well documented and the way of thinking that has been enforcedly adopted over time is: what benefits are my meal going to deliver my body and mind? Necessity is the mother of invention and many of the combinations of onions, chilli, red meat and spices that make up the basic ingredients of your common or garden curry dish are the results of using combining what ingredients were available to help stave off the effects of malnutrition and pestilence in times gone by.  A blessing in disguise as we look back, one may hasten to say.

So the next time you’re sitting down with your Biryani, mostly unknown on home shores sixty years hence, just think of the journey that traditional dish has had to get onto your plate today.

Spices are a truly fascinating culture on their own – and can be quite lethal if served in inappropriate doses but a boon when you know how to get the best from them.
The quickest and easiest way to acquaint yourself with their benefits is take on one of the many popular Indian cookery classes on offer, many available from those on our cookery course home page. Get to grips with your corianders, cumins, turmerics and cardamoms once and for all so that next time the boss comes round for a curry, you end up giving them too much of a chilli reception, whether they deserve it or not.

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Celebrate National Cherry Day with a summer fruit crumble

Article original posted July 16th, but those nasty little gremlins pinched it.

While it’s still summer, and we’ve had a few cherries on top of the icing on the cake at the Olympics – six golds in one day, yesterday; stunning or what? – why not celebrate with this stunning recipe for fruit crumble, starring my favourite fruit of them all, the humble British cherry.

Today is National Cherry Day, did you know? No, I didn’t know we had one, either, but hey-ho, there you go. In order that no one’s opportunity passes by to pop their cherry dish into either a crumble, clafoutis or bun in the oven, we’re going to bring you the second in our series of recipes here on cookerycourses.co.uk.

There is the opportunity to make a clafoutis on the Great British Chefs blog, but as this website is aimed at those wanting to learn to cook, I’ve got a good idea that the majority of people picking up on this post, if they’re ought like me, couldn’t find their way to making a stimulating clafoutis even if they had a map. There is, however, another decent little recipe for a summer fruit crumble, the star ingredient of which is indeed the Great British cherry. Hurrah!

The good thing about this recipe is that for sweetness, it draws mainly on the natural sugars found within the fruits themselves, contains fibre in the oats and wholemeal flour, protein in the hazelnuts and Chia seeds contain even more omega-3 per gram than salmon.  What’s more, all of the fruits are blessed with their own antioxidant qualities, helping to rejuvenate your skin and lower your ldl cholesterol. Bonus! Combine all of that with the essential fatty acids (mono- and polyunsaturates) that feature more heavily than the saturates and you have to ask: who said desserts couldn’t be delicious yet also be healthy eating? What’s more, its sooo simple to make, it’s child’s play.

A dessert healthy, tasty and good for you? Get away!

So, herewith, the ingredients. For the fruits, we have 400gm of cherries, 125gm each of blueberries and raspberries and 200gm of strawberries. Remember to wash them all well. The cherries need to be stoned and, quartered, the strawberries sliced similarly. The raspberries are to be halved and the blueberries left whole. This will make the base, along with one teaspoon of chia seeds and 100ml of water.

For the crumble, a 100gm of each of the following: porridge oats, wholemeal flour (sieved to retain the bran – we don’t need that), hazelnuts (coarsely chopped in a food processor) and melted butter. Also, 75gm of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of chia seeds.

In an 11″ flan dish (approx.), layer the fruit, squishing it down gently until something like level, but not entirely spirit-level flat. Add the water and then sprinkle the teaspoon of chia seeds across the top.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190°c).

Everything else but the butter, tip into a mixing bowl. That’s the chopped hazelnuts, tsp of chia seeds, cinnamon, oats, sugar and flour. Mix together with hands, then pour over the melted butter. Grab yourself a wooden spoon and combine; you should have a mixture that looks like clusters, which you can then layer over the top of the fruit. Don’t worry if it doesn’t entirely cover the fruit – there should be chunks jutting through like a rocky desert landscape.

Place the flan dish on a baking tray in the middle of the preheated oven for about half an hour – the mixture should have begun to brown and the cherries and berries bubbling through the crumble by then – if not, leave a little while longer until they’ve done so.

The fruit will remain hot for some time, so be careful; custard is my fave with this dessert but you can temper the heat by serving it with ice-cream or – if you’re ultra-healthy – yoghurt will make a decent accompaniment, too.

So, now you can at least enjoy National Cherry Day, even if the summer has been a little bit of a let down, to date.