Jane McClenaghan has had a life-long passion for good food. She grew up in Northern Ireland in a family where growing, cooking and eating healthy food was part of life. Fully qualified in Food Science and Nutritional Therapy, she runs successful clinical practices in Belfast and Holywood, supporting people with a variety of health issues, and was recently awarded the UK CAM (Complementary & Alternative Medicine) Award for outstanding practice – the first time this award had been given to someone from Northern Ireland. She is the author of The Vital Nutrition Cookbook and The Vital Nutrition Handbook, which has just been released.
Jane spoke at Smock Alley Theatre on Saturday, 4th November, for an engaging and motivational segment with other nutrition experts for our Your Guide to Healthy Eating event.
Q. What is one piece of advice you could share with everyone for overall health and wellness?
Healthy eating should never be brown, bland or boring. Neither should it be expensive, made up of ingredients you have never heard of (never mind tasted!), or be so out there that no one else in your family will eat it. When it comes to healthy eating, my philosophy is Eat Real Food! Forget fad diets and calorie counting and instead get back to enjoying the flavours and textures of eating more whole, natural and unprocessed foods. Get connected to the food on your plate and appreciate the amazing potential it has to transform your health and wellbeing.
Q. What is your favourite healthy recipe?
My favourite recipe (from my new book, Vital Nutrition) is my sugar-free nutty granola, served with berries & natural yoghurt. Hope you like it!
Sugar-free Nutty Granola
Most commercial granolas are laden with sugar and vegetable oil. Not very healthy! This nutritious and delicious version is oil-free and sugar-free. Makes enough to do all week.
100g jumbo oats
100g sunflower seeds
100g hazelnuts, crushed or roughly chopped
100g pumpkin seeds
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
juice of half a lemon
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup (optional)
Makes 6-8 servings
• Pre-heat the oven to 160C/Gas mark 3 and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
• Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
• Whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy.
• Fold the egg white into the dry ingredients.
• Stir in the lemon juice and syrup (if you are using it).
• Spread the granola mixture over the baking tray.
• Bake for 40-45 minutes until lightly golden. Check every now and then so it doesn’t burn.
• Store in an airtight container and enjoy with natural yoghurt and berries.