Expert nutritional consultants Paget & Coles this week put the spotlight on two of our most popular recipes. Using their awesome analysis techniques, they pulled the dishes apart in terms of nutritional content and uncovered the real benefits of our approach to home-cooking! The full review is below – all photos ©Paget & Coles Ltd.
Reviewed // Gousto gourmet home recipe bags
In recent weeks we have received a pretty brutal reminder that we don’t always have control over what ends up in our food. The reputation of the supermarket ready-meal, already in question, has been well and truly damaged by the recent horsemeat scandal. This is precisely why we encourage home-cooking wherever possible, so that we can have control over what ends up in our bodies. However, we also recognise that every day pressures can make this hard. Cooking at home takes time and planning, and if you’re following a new recipe you have to source weird and wonderful ingredients that frankly don’t exist in your cupboard – or if they do, they’re probably out of date!
So, enter Gousto….an exciting gourmet company delivering fresh ingredients straight to your door, all perfectly measured out, just leaving you the fun bit: the cooking! Gousto’s concept is definitely right up our street. Getting people back to basics and reacquainting them with their food is a very important and often neglected part of staying healthy. So this week we thought we would take a look at two of Gousto’s most popular recipes, pull them apart, plug them through our swanky nutrition analysis software and see what’s going on in terms of nutrient content.
Creamy Leek and Beetroot Risotto (V)
There is something magical about cooking a risotto. You must take your time as the rice gradually absorbs the stock, filling your nostrils with an unmistakably European aroma. You can take pleasure in knowing that whilst all this is going on, you start producing saliva and your digestive system is priming itself to receive the food. This is the antithesis of popping a meal in the microwave and wolfing it down before your stomach even has chance to rouse itself from its afternoon slumber.
This Gousto recipe contains approximately 3 of your 5-a-day and 50% of your daily calcium in just one portion (1). The key player in this dish is definitely the beetroot, a nutrient-dense vegetable, particularly high in potassium. Nowadays, the lack of vegetables in the average diet means we consume very little potassium on the whole. This coupled with a diet high in salt can contribute to high blood pressure. And it’s not just the potassium that can help lower blood pressure, other components (e.g. nitrates) in beetroot have also been shown to directly lower blood pressure within three hours of eating (2).
This dish also contains high levels of folate and betaine (1), which have been shown to work synergistically to help reduce levels of toxic compounds in the blood (3). And to top it off, Gousto have thrown in a heart-healthy portion of walnuts, which contain the highest amount of omega-3 than any other nut. To best preserve the delicate fats in walnuts, however, we would recommend skipping the dry-frying and tossing them in raw at the end.
Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps
This is a great one for the kids as it’s really hands-on, but it’s equally appealing to the adults, as it has a modern fusion feel about it. Many of the ingredients are served in their raw state, which keeps the vitamins and minerals intact, so no wonder each portion gives you more than half your daily intake of vitamin C (1).
For us where Gousto excels, however, is in their efforts to source top quality meat. The beef mince in this recipe is both free-range and pasture-fed. Not only does pasture-fed meat ensure high animal-welfare standards and an exceptional taste, but it also means an impressive list of nutrients (4). Pasture-fed beef contains up to three times more omega-3 than intensively reared cattle (4) as well as a higher level of antioxidants. You’re also getting around 50% of your daily intakes of iron and zinc in this recipe, as well as 100% of your vitamin B-12 (1).
It’s great to come across companies who have a passion for real food and cooking, and want to bring this enjoyment to the public in the easiest way possible. If you think Gousto is an extravagance, think again. We priced up the ingredients in our local supermarket and the Gousto service worked out at 50p less per portion, saving on time and money!