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There’s always much controversy surrounding the power of food as an alternative remedy to illness. However, growing consumer concerns with eating healthy and wellbeing influencing their daily food choice indicates that the UK is beginning to identify the link between the two. A recent Allegra Foodservice report forecasted that consumer interest in healthy eating is set to increase 575% over the next 6 years, therefore the food industry is rapidly becoming equipped to meet this need, through innovative recipe concepts and menu development that focus on healthy ingredients without compromising on taste.

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A wonderful example of this healthy eating movement is Ella Woodwards’ food blog, which she began writing when she was diagnosed with a chronic illness. She became interested in the power of food to help aid the body’s recovery and as a result became a vegan as well cutting out gluten and sugar from her diet. Ella had to come up with very innovative recipes in order to eat, all of which use raw ingredients. She is now training as a dietician with her own successful recipe app.

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With the emerging movement towards reducing or completely cutting out sugar, such recipe development is bang on trend. Ella uses a variety of nuts, grains and seeds including chia and quinoa to develop hearty and delicious recipes that are great for the body. The likes are which are slowly being translated by brands such as Rude Health and Nākd fruit bars, placing this category in strong growth.

Belief in the virtues of raw food is also gaining popularity in Sydney, where a string of raw-food cafes have recently sprung up. Julie Mitsios, who set up Earth to Table in 2012, uses innovative methods to recreate familiar dishes from raw, gluten sugar and dairy free ingredients. You’d never know that her pizza bases are in fact made from dehydrated almond meal, or that the granola is predominately made up of sprouted buckwheat and quinoa.

This type of conscious, informed healthy eating is fast becoming a way of life for consumers who are tired of the fast food chains and want to feel good about what they’re putting into their bodies. Blogs and books such as Ella’s are slowly educating the UK how to simply put together what nature gives us, keeping it pure and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

By Carys Neil, NPD Manager

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