Prue and Peta Leith on their new book The Vegetarian Kitchen
It’s all very well giving up meat, or at least cutting down, in your bid to save the planet. But if you’re not eating seasonally then you’re also part of the problem (this sounds harsher written down…). After all, if a certain fruit or vegetable isn’t in season, then it has most likely been flown halfway across the world.
BALANCE sat down for a chat with Prue and Peta Leith, and the auntie and niece also pointed out one crucial factor when it comes to seasonality: food that’s in season tastes better!
“I mean, strawberries in December do not taste good!” explains Peta. “So, you know, it’s not entirely altruistic.”
Prue, a British culinary icon, says it’s important to eat what feels right; the seasons can serve as a natural barometer. She explains: “It’s well-designed. You think of winter. You can get squash, carrots and all these wintry vegetables – and that’s what you feel like because you want something substantial and delicious. And in the summer, what you feel like is a salad and something light.”
Peta adds: “Seasons are well-designed in terms of produce that go well together, like blackberries and apples: they come at the same time.”
BALANCE is chatting with the Leiths about their new book, The Vegetarian Kitchen. Peta is vegetarian. Prue enjoys meat yet is cutting back. So they combined their vast knowledge on what promises to be one of the year’s major releases.
That said, it’s not just Prue and Peta’s new book that has BALANCE applauding. How on earth, we want to know, is Prue 80 years old? Talk about living proof that a healthy diet is important.
“If there is a secret, it’s mostly luck, because I’m a really good sleeper,” chuckles Prue. “And I eat very well, unsurprisingly, because that’s my job. And I have a positive, cheerful disposition. I generally wake up feeling happy, and that’s the serotonin levels in our brain.” Peta adds: “I suspect what also keeps you young is that you keep so busy – you’re always running around.”
BALANCE has its checklist to be more like Prue: more serotonin, more sleep and lots of running around.
The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue and Peta Leith (Bluebird, £25) is out now