At the end of November went to the BBC Good Food Show courtesy of The Blogger Programme. We left the kiddies in daddy care and off we went for a day of fun. We took one little helper with us who was only 9 weeks old!

There are now several BBC Good Food Show’s around the UK and we went to our local one – the Winter show at the NEC in Birmingham. Titled ‘the ultimate day out for food lovers’ (to be a dietitian you have to have a love of food) so we were heading to the right place! It was massive with over 450 exhibitors and 3 stages to watch your favourite chefs cook.

What caught our eye…

Peeling heaven

Wondering round the stalls, trying little samples of food and drink, we were drawn into a gadget demo. We watched a man quickly peel, grate and julienne carrots and courgettes. I have never really bought into the idea of courgetti and the thought of spending lots of money on a spiraliser put me off more. After watching the man use this multi purpose peeler to do the job we were hooked and got one each at only £5 per peeler! I am looking forward to making some exciting salads!

Flavoured Rapeseed oil

My next purchase was some flavoured Supernature Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil. The best part is trying the different oils to see which has the best flavour. I went for a basil and coriander oil. The strangest tasting was the mint one! They can be used in cooking and to drizzled on salads (maybe onto the julienne salads I am now going to make!). Rapeseed oil is a unsaturated fat high in monounsaturates (the good fats).

Great Veg

As well as the chocolate, cheese and sausage stalls, I was pleased to see a few stands dedicated to fruit and veg. There were 2 sweet juicy apple stands and my favourite was the Discover Great Veg stand. They were farmers from Lincolnshire that grow lots of green leafy veg- kale, spinach, cavolo nero and leeks. I got to try kale brownies (which were good!) but declined the Cavolo Nero Vodka Crush as I was about to drive home! I was given some Cavolo Nero to try and a shopping bag with a leek on (made this Dietitian happy!). Cavolo Nero is related to the Kale family, and my husband used it in a tasty prawn stir fry later in the evening. We all need more green leafy veg in our diet!

Calcium chews

A lot of my clients are on a low protein diet as part of their treatment so they often can’t get all their calcium requirements in via diet. They often struggle to take calcium tables as the are big and chalky. I tried a small cube of a caramel flavoured chew which didn’t taste of chalk at all. One little cube contained 500mg of calcium and 5ug of Vitamin D. This is great as adults need at least 700mg of calcium per day, so 2 per day would give you all your calcium requirements if you couldn’t manage to get your calcium requirements from your diet. They do contain milk, so unfortunately no good if a milk free diet is needed.

Superseed and Supergrain pasta

We came across the Nomad Health stand at the back of the hall. As dietitians we like to find different products that could help the people we work with. Their pastas are gluten free as they are made from seeds and gluten free grains. They are much higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than conventional wheat pasta. The owners kindly gave us some of their pasta’s to try so we will let you know how we get on!

The celebrity chefs

Hairy Bikers

Due to our busy schedules we only managed to get to the show on the last day, so we missed Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux jr and Nadiya Hussain, but I did get a ticket to see the Hairy Bikers in the Supertheatre cooking up Beef Olives and Lobseter & Smoked Salmon Mousse – yum. They were very entertaining helped out by a rogue camera man!

Clean Eating Masterclass

We spotted that there was a ‘Clean Eating’ masterclass with Stacie Stewart on the Good Food Stage, so thought we should check it out. Stacie was a Masterchef finalist in 2009 and now runs a clean eating deli in Brighton. We were disappointed that Stacie was promoting the clean eating mantra of grain, gluten, dairy and sugar free diets. There is no need to avoid these foods for a healthy diet unless you are intolerant to them. By cutting out whole food groups from your diet there is a potential to become deficient in nutrients, especially calcium if avoiding dairy. Stacie made a “fresh, healthy and clean courgetti with minted avocado sauce and wild mushrooms”. 

The meal looked lovely, contained lots of veg and good fats (avocado, nuts, rapeseed oil), but it was also fairly low in protein and carbohydrate. I am not keen on the term ‘clean’ as it could imply that everything else that doesn’t fit into the ‘clean’ category is unclean or dirty… which is not right. She needs to work with a nutritionist or dietitian to get her health messages right, she even said in her demo that everything she knew was self taught! We should have gone up and offered our services!!!

No restriction cooking

I enjoyed listening to Sophie Goodwin (part of the good food cookery team) showing us how to make a sherry, almond and orange pandoro (a quick festive dessert) and Jane Devonshire (this years Masterchef winner) whip up a duck breast with sweet pickled fennel and apple and beetroot sauce (with no restrictions!!).

We had a good day eating, drinking and discovering new foods and look forward to trying and tasting the foods we bought at home. Our little helper was a very good girl (as long as she was fed) of which Sarah was very adapt at multitasking – feeding and walking – as demonstrated in the photo below… well everyone else was enjoying eating to!

Disclaimer: We were given free tickets to go to the Good Food Show in collaboration with The Blogger Programme in return for writing a blog post review and social media posts from the day. All views are our own.