Provender Brown Perth Deli
6 HEALTHY PERTHSHIRE

Healthier Deli Swaps From Perthshire

In order to help all of our lockdown waistlines, mental health and energy levels, we’ve rounded up some fantastic healthier swaps from Perthshire that don’t compromise on taste.

You may have noticed a bit of a trend on social media at the moment around lockdown weight gain. It seems that where real life leads, social will follow; and so those digital memes poking fun at the pandemic pounds are a direct result of millions of us eating our way through the boredom of the past 12 months. 

Fear not. We’re not about to start a lecture on the 'joy' of fat-free mayo (why would you?!).  We hear you on this one. We’re with you. We ARE you!  In our house at this stage, a crisps and wine combo is really the only antidote to Saturday afternoon monotomy.

In fact, we aren’t really fans of traditional diets at all, preferring instead to live by the ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ rule book.  With that said, we do believe in making good choices when it comes to nourishing your body and mind, and that means paying attention to food provenance and looking out for those hidden nasties.

The good news is when you shop with us you are choosing to buy from small, artisan producers who are far less likely to stuff their products full of artificial e-numbers and the like.  This doesn’t mean everything is healthy – have you seen our biscuit department? - but it does mean you’re making a more informed choice when you are tempted with a weekend treat.

The trendsetters call it mindful eating but we just call it being sensible and happy!  And so, in order to help our collective lockdown waistlines, mental health and energy levels, we’ve rounded up some fantastic swaps that don’t compromise on taste or joy – ideal as you ease back into normal life and real clothes with waistbands and buttons!

We’ve chosen to keep it local, with all of our suggestions made right here in Perthshire.  For us, supporting our Perthshire producers is all part of the feel-good factor we’re building on this Spring.

HEALTHY PERTHSHIRE
HEALTHY PERTHSHIRE
HEALTHY PERTHSHIRE
HEALTHY PERTHSHIRE

Swap Sweet Biscuits For Perthshire Oatcakes

One of our longest-standing suppliers, Chris Young and daughter Pepper started making their best selling oatcakes in 2005 and since then have gone on to win numerous awards including gold in the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards in 2006 and 2007 and Best Scottish Product Award in 2007.

Their Traditional Oatcake is made from 100% pinhead oatmeal and has no added sugar or sweeteners. These really are delicious and are perfect on their own as a wholesome snack. If you want something more substantial for a lunch then add a topping such as an omega 3 packed smoked salmon or a heart healthy feta cheese. 

Perthshire oatcakes are packed with healthy wholegrain oats, which give a natural slow energy release throughout the day, making a perfect snack at any time. Oats have a long list of health benefits, which is why they are recommended as part of a healthy diet.

Traditional Oatcakes:  - Suitable for Vegans, full of heart healthy oats, no added sugar or sweeteners.

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Swap Supermarket Cereal for Greens Granola

The tasty creation of Erika Green, Green’s Granola is homemade in Auchterarder, Perthshire, using pure Scottish wholegrain jumbo oats complemented by a selection of healthy and delicious ingredients from around the world. 

Erika’s granola is gently baked in small batches to ensure that it’s satisfyingly crunchy, evenly browned and of the highest quality. The granola is sweetened with honey instead of cane sugar, and is packed with heart healthy nuts, seeds and dried fruit, making it hearty enough to keep you going all morning!

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Swap Sugary Spreads for Heather Hills Honey

We’re not going to pretend that honey isn’t sugar by a different name but the fact is that if you crave a sweet fix, this is a far better option than processed spreads – and is a great way to wean you off sugar in your tea!

Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains only 64 calories but it is the added-extras such as the anti-oxidants that really help this wonderful product to stand out.  And interestingly, several studies show that honey may improve your cholesterol levels by reducing total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while significantly raising “good” HDL cholesterol.

In 2017 A Glasgow University report found that Scottish Heather Honey was among several honeys that proved to be just as effective as Manuka Honey which has been praised for its antibacterial properties and fighting bacteria in wounds.

In wine terms, Scottish Heather Honey is the Champagne of Honeys due to the geographical location of the hives, the terrain and the climate.

In an age of mass production and bulk processing, Heather Hills honey represents a return to traditional methods. This ensures that the enzymes, protein and natural goodness of their honey stays within it and are not destroyed during the harvesting, separating or bottling processes. This produces artisan, raw honeys of a far superior quality and distinctive flavour which retain their natural  benefits.

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Swap Wine and Prosecco for Cairn O’Mohr Soft Drinks

We’re not suggesting you go tea total, but cutting down on those mid-week glasses of vino will help you ease back into normal life and help you hit that recommended units per week figure! (Okay, this one is here for my personal benefit!)

The sparkling elderflower and sparkling elderberry drinks from Cairn o’Mohr are truly delicious and a great alternative to a Proseco mid-week or if you’re driving. I like to serve mine in a proper wine glass with a few berries thrown in for good measure.

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Swap Creamy Sauces for Summer Harvest Dressings

We love these delicious dressings in our house and add them to salads, veg, fish and meat to bring an extra layer of flavour. Made using cold pressed rapeseed oil which is produced right here in Perthshire by Marc and Maggie Bush, this amazing multi award-winning product is a must try for lovers of good food.

Rapeseed oil contains less saturated fat than other commonly used cooking oils and fats -  approx. 50% less than olive oil – and is high in unsaturated fats, particularly mono-unsaturated. Rapeseed oil also contains plant sterols and is a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

Recent UK dietary and nutrition surveys estimate that as a nation we’re eating too much saturated fat so we need to look for ways to cut down. Replacing saturated fats with some unsaturated fats such as rapeseed oil, as part of a healthy balanced diet, has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, which may help to lower the risk of heart disease. 

These tasty dressings also use ingredients from other Perthshire producers include honey, raspberries and apples.

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Swap Mass Produced Bread for Wild Hearth Sourdough*

Sourdough bread has risen rapidly in popularity over lockdown but if, like me, you just can’t keep that starter alive then I suggest you do the sensible thing and buy Wild Hearth’s tasty bakes from Provender Brown.

Tastier and healthier than conventional bread it is widely accepted that sourdough is easier to digest and less likely to spike your blood sugar.

Most leavened breads use commercial baker’s yeast to help the dough rise. However, traditional sourdough fermentation relies on “wild yeast” and lactic acid bacteria that are naturally present in flour to leaven the bread. Lactic acid bacteria can be found in several other fermented foots, including yogurt, kifir, pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi – yes, it's one of those fermented foods!

At Wild Hearth their bread is slowly and carefully created by hand from organic flours and wild “starters” for the optimum depth of flavour, balance and lightness. All have a complexity of flavour that comes with a natural ferment, carefully managed to preserve the essential flavour of the grains they work with – natural, nourishing and delicious.

*(possibly not the pastries but they are delicious if you're looking for that balance I talked about!)

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Summer Harvest products in store