Hav­ing meals ready in the freezer can be just as con­ve­nient as a take­away ...


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SHE has had a well doc­u­mented bat­tle with anx­i­ety, and now Nadiya Hus­sain has re­vealed she no longer fol­lows any­one on so­cial me­dia who talks about weight loss be­cause she has spent a life­time feel­ing bad about her body.

The for­mer Great Bri­tish Bake Off win­ner, 34, says her life is “all about balance” and that she ex­er­cises when she can and loves be­ing able to eat what she wants af­ter­wards.

She told Ra­dio Times magazine: “I’ve re­cently de­cided not to fol­low any­one on so­cial me­dia who talks about di­et­ing or weight loss.

“I’ve spent a life­time feel­ing bad about my body and my hang-ups and what I eat.

“But I’m 35 this year and, given my fam­ily his­tory, I won’t make it past 70 so I’m half­way there. I want to en­joy the rest of what­ever I’ve got.”

Nadiya’s lat­est project is a tele­vi­sion se­ries and ac­com­pa­ny­ing book aimed at sim­pli­fy­ing things in the kitchen.

She in­sists there is nothing wrong with cooking cheaper in­gre­di­ents or frozen and tinned foods.

“There’s nothing wrong with us­ing frozen and canned food. There’s nothing wrong with us­ing a microwave,” says the mum-of-three.

“What’s hap­pened to so­ci­ety is we’ve be­come re­ally pre­ten­tious. But there was a time in my life where I re­ally had to choose be­tween boil­ing potatoes and pay­ing my gas bill, so I’d buy a can of potatoes.

“We need to step back, stop be­ing

pre­ten­tious, and think about the fact some people strug­gle for money.

“Why not use cheaper in­gre­di­ents? If some­thing doesn’t poi­son us, I think we should eat it.”

Here Nadiya dishes up some of her best kitchen tips:

What are your tips for saving time in the kitchen and/or around the house?

TO START off, any curry or dish that re­quires cooked onions, buy frozen chopped onion or even use ready fried onions.

Don’t throw away leftover wilt­ing herbs in the fridge. Zap them in the microwave for 10 sec­onds and they dry in­stantly. Crush in the palm of your hands and store for an­other day!

Next time you squeeze the juice of half a le­mon into any­thing, keep the flesh. Fill it with bak­ing soda or bi­car­bon­ate of soda and pop into the back of the fridge in a bowl to keep your

fridge smelling clean.

Your new show is all about saving time spent in the kitchen but also eat­ing well. Can home-made food re­ally be as easy as take­aways?

TAKE­AWAYS are con­ve­nient and I’m not say­ing we shouldn’t treat our­selves to them oc­ca­sion­ally.

I love putting my feet up and not worrying about the cooking.

If we plan ahead, I do be­lieve that hav­ing meals prepped and ready in the freezer can be just as con­ve­nient as take­away. It’s fresh, you know what you’ve put in it and all it needs is warm­ing up!

How can people who might work unso­cia­ble hours find time to pre­pare de­cent, qual­ity meals?

EVEN if you only have time to cook just two or three meals a week, I al­ways like to think of one meal as two.

Dur­ing the time that you take to cook and eat one meal, you could have also made an­other to cook and stick in your freezer.

Hav­ing pre­pared meals in the freezer can ease some of the worry of hav­ing to cook fresh ev­ery day. It can just sit there un­til you need it.

Speak­ing of sit­ting there – let’s talk about tinned veg­eta­bles. Why should people think again about us­ing them?

I THINK there is a stigma at­tached to tinned veg­eta­bles. They are seen in a neg­a­tive light and we need to just accept that they can be a part of our cooking and day-to-day lives.

Tinned veg­eta­bles take away prepa­ra­tion time, es­pe­cially for root veg­eta­bles like potatoes and car­rots.

They are so con­ve­nient to have in the cup­board and are a great way to add bulk to dishes and help them go a lit­tle fur­ther.

What do you do in the time you’ve saved in the kitchen?

I LIKE to go on bike rides and I love walk­ing. My next challenge is to do the Three Peaks. I love read­ing, go­ing to the movies with the kids and los­ing my­self in a bucket of pop­corn.

What tips can you give fam­i­lies with fussy eater among them?

ONE of my three kids used to be very fussy. It was frus­trat­ing and of­ten I did all the wrong things like re­sort­ing to watch­ing him, threat­en­ing pun­ish­ment or telling him he had to fin­ish his meal.

I soon re­alised that it was not work­ing and it was en­cour­ag­ing an un­healthy re­la­tion­ship with food.

It has taken years, a lot of pa­tience and lots of bit­ing my tongue but I leave him to it now.

The best way for me has been to lead by ex­am­ple. I think sit­ting to­gether to eat has made it easy for him to start to en­joy his food.

Be re­laxed, it’s not the end of the world! Lead by ex­am­ple, eat what they eat. Sit to­gether. Be patient, it will hap­pen, but in its own time.

Now I can’t stop him eat­ing!

For this pro­gramme you went be­hind the scenes to find out where some foods come from. What stood out for you?

I CAN’T be­lieve that baked beans are filled into the cans raw and then pres­sure cooked in the cans.

That was mind blow­ing.

Ev­ery­one has a favourite com­fort food, what is yours?

CHIPS or lava fries. Chips, cov­ered in chilli, melted cheese and with lots of lime co­rian­der and sour cream.

And Mar­mite crisps, mostly any­thing potato based.

Time To Eat is on BBC2 on Mon­day at 8pm.

Nadiya Hus­sain pic­tured with one of the recipes from her new BBC se­ries and book, Time to Eat

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