First look (and taste!) of new healthy recipes at May Festival

First look (and taste!) of new healthy recipes at May Festival

A new recipe book packed full of healthy and sustainable meal ideas will be launched at this year's May Festival.

Scientists and nutritionists from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute have been studying how different sources of protein may contribute to healthier diets; could help Scotland be more sustainable (both economically and environmentally), and help reduce its dependence on imported foods and ingredients.

As part of this, the team looked at crops which present a high protein content and have historically been grown in Scotland or are currently grown elsewhere in similar climates and could be introduced to Scotland. Having looked at many potential candidates, the research focused on pea, fava bean, hemp and buckwheat.

As a result of the research, the team have now compiled a brand new recipe book A Taste of Plants, and members of the public who attend any of the Rowett Tours during the May Festival, will have the opportunity to try samples directly from the book.

Dr Madalina Neacsu, who worked on producing the recipe book, commented: “Our inspiration for the book came from a set of human dietary intervention studies we carried out where we studied sustainable crops that can be grown in Scotland, assessing their nutritional and health benefits. For this we had to design various plant based recipes for feeding our volunteers, which needed to be rich in the sustainable crops we studied such as buckwheat, green pea, hemp and fava bean.

“The recipes we created were popular with the volunteers, and so we thought that it would be a good idea to create a recipe book available for everybody.  To be able to produce a book like this is a great outcome of our research and allows us to share with the wider world how the research we carry out here at the Rowett, can contribute towards a sustainable diet, which is healthy for the planet and for people.

“Creating the book has been a real team effort. We worked closely with colleagues from our Human Nutrition Unit who are experts at creating and producing tasty recipes, and they were able to come up with fantastic ways to get these crops into our diets. I am looking forward to sharing the recipes, and the May Festival is the perfect time for us to launch the book. Those who come along for a tour of the building will also be able to pick up a copy of the book and will even get to sample some of our recipes such as green pea crispbread, hemp and buckwheat flapjack and fava pancakes.”

The University of Aberdeen May Festival takes place from Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27.