I grew up on green custard


We made cupcakes yesterday. Light vanilla ones thanks to never-fails-Janes' Patisserie. We threw in some chocolate chips then focused on how L was going to decorate them, as the smell wafted up from the humming oven.

Sprinkles go without saying. We have multiple types, all of which seem to find themselves in every possible nook and cranny in the kitchen without even breathing.

But the most important decision was the colour of the buttercream icing. I've always been a fan of green. I have happy memories of green food colouring dropping into Birds custard, made on the hob by my mum. Served with syrup or chocolate sponge pudding, and that slightly uneasy feeling combined with excitement as the warm, vanilla frog spawn and witches brew slipped down into my stomach.

There were no such things as 'natural' food colourings in 1980. I have no idea what made it green but I'm still here and I turned out pretty well.

Oh the difference 40 years makes. The only green additive allowed in desserts comes in the form of avocado. Who needs chocolate when you've got beetroot and as for ice cream, hey just use a cauliflower! How did we get to adding black beans to our brownies to make them 'healthier'?

This healthification has got out of hand thanks to 'clean eating' and the likes of the paleo diet. And actually, what even is healthy anyway?

The mental gymnastics that can take place over eating a (normal) brownie certainly aren't but does making it less sugary or carby any better?

Well not if you become so concerned about sugar and carbs that you feel you need to analyse everything you eat. And if you do happen to veer off path and fall into a sharing bag of skittles, the panic that ensues to get back to your 'normal', is also not particularly healthy.

Now if you truly, hand on heart enjoy such 'healthy' options, go for it. But if you're making recipes healthier just so you can eat foods you wouldn't allow otherwise....and even though you're trying to convince yourself it's as good as the real thing, it's the only option you have...then maybe rethink what healthy looks like for you.

Making yourself eat something because you think you should is no fun. Your body is more likely to push you away from these foods rather than towards them...so veggies can become less appealing. You'll buy them but wonder why you don't want them - and it's not your fault if this happens!

Diet culture, not science tells us that carbs and butter are made by the Devil.
What might happen if you gave yourself permission to eat that fully leaded brownie? Isn't it that bit more satisfying? That bit more delicious? You deserve to experience joy with food.


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